strategy

Let's get vi-si-ble, vi-si-ble

It's time!

It’s time to brush off your leadership brand and start standing out for all the right reasons again.⠀

  • Say no - to throwing yourself in at the office boots and all to make up all that lost ground over the holidays. ⠀
  • Say no - to having a default head down backside up attitude without lifting your head to see what’s on the horizon.⠀
  • Say no - to being the flustered, worn out executive up the back of the office - because no-one promotes or appoints that person anyway!!⠀
  • Instead, say yes to the gold standard of executive branded - proactive, future focused, plus deliberately and strategically visible.


Moving forwards
Moving forwards it would be great to see regular content sharing from you this year - either on LinkedIn, via your email newsletter, your internal intranet site or other profile building platform of choice. If I’ve learnt anything in observing leaders and experts, it’s that the people who frequently and consistently stay visible, gain far more traction. 

Here are my five tips to up the ante on standing out for all the right reasons in 2018!

1. Pick a curation tool and get started
- Register one or two Google alerts that will feed you news in your industry that you can share or comment on.  Be specific with your search words so you don’t get overwhelmed.
- Alternatively, follow a bunch of media outlets on Facebook.  I get the AFR via Facebook and it's an awesome feed. I also use Drumup.io and Flipboard as curation tools.
Pick one, then get started. You'll be surprised how easy this is, and how easy it makes your branding journey.

2. Plan the events you will attend, host, chair or speak at where you can get most ROI
Events not only give you great content (images, ideas and inspiration) but you never know who you might bump into. Do ensure that the event is right for your goals. Confidence building is one thing but staying strategically visible by decision makers in your preferred industry category is probably better.  Take a wing woman if you need additional support. Not to chat to each other - but to instead bolster each other, facilitate introductions and to halve the effort yet double your impact.

3. Write a bunch of 50-75 word mini blogs in advance
Ideas to get you started
- what do you believe about your area of expertise?
- what do you believe about leadership/management?
- what do you believe about the future of your industry? 
- what do you believe about women in leadership?
- and why are these things important? 
Think future focused and proactive. These paragraphs then stand you in good stead in meetings, are great starters for networking events or longer form articles/papers, or you can schedule them to go out weekly on LinkedIn. 6 to10 pieces is a great start and puts you well ahead of the rest. Why not dump in a few appropriate hashtags while you're at it? 

#dontdelaystarttoday #thoughtleadership #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes

Invisible to invincible! 

Invisible to invincible! 

4. Start strong, avoid passive or safe. Lead with what you stand for. 
When you’re creating content for LinkedIn in response to other content or events, avoid the following;
- simply regurgitating the article
- starting with "this is a great article I found on xxx".
- and by now you know my thoughts on starting a share with "delighted to attend/win/speak/catch up with  .....".  

Do - start with what you stand for and why that's important, then segue to how it adds impact in the context of the group you write for. Add something to it - opinion, analysis, top tips, more information on related topics, advice etc. If graciousness is important, finish with the graciousness piece but certainly don't lead with it.  

 5. Make the time & consider timing. 
I’m finding lunchtime Monday to Wednesday for LinkedIn great during the summer. Thursdays are okay too.  Not too late though, as everyone is back in meetings by 2pm. Another of my clients is having success with Saturdays. Her clients are business leaders and they find time on the weekend.
- Note: Realtime live shares are best. LinkedIn algorithms are now "downgrading" sharing from automated softwares including Buffer or Hootsuite.

I hope to see more quality sharing on LinkedIn or your newsletter in the coming weeks! Do pop me a text, email or LinkedIn message with the link to your post when it goes up, so that I can thumbs up and/or comment myself. 

The Visibility Game
I call much of this a game. In fact, the ever changing algorithms on social media platforms make it so. Did you know that when someone likes, comments or shares your content on LinkedIn, you get points on that item?  And when you’re in the business of staying visible so you can make a bigger difference - this matters - to you, to your organisation, to your mission.

And remember, the goal is to spend quality, strategic and focused time on this now, so you get more bang for your buck when the going gets tough - and have more time to spend on the things that truly make a difference.

Let's get vi-si-ble .... vi-si-ble (she sang)

Amanda


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

"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.  

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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 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

Thank you, thank you, thank you

Silent gratitude isn’t very much to anyone.
— Gertrude Stein
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Thank you!

Thanks for being part of my tribe of ambitious, badass woman of impact. It's been, and continues to be, a wonderful journey.

Thanks also to everyone who is connected to me on LinkedIn for helping me reach my first 10,000 connections on the platform! 

One of my fabulous clients (who incidentally was acknowledged by LinkedIn with a 2017 Power Profile) challenged me to crack the 10K mark a little faster. Congratulations to Jayne Ward, for her strategy and determination to stand out in the crowd. Awesome work. And thanks also to her for issuing the challenge to me to up my own game.

(And yes, I'm so uncool, I was watching as the counter clicked over.)

And while it was a significant milestone in my mind - it felt no-where near as rewarding as hearing from you with one of your wins and/or achievements!

So do drop me a note with one of your own wins! 

 


Remember the Friday Formula?

EVERY Friday, never fail, from now on until the end of eternity ....

  • What did you achieve this week?
  • What is the benefit you delivered (financial or otherwise)?
  • What is the expertise you used to deliver that achievement?
  • Can you quantity this? ($value or % turnaround, CSAT etc)?

Let's get in the habit of quantifying wins and building confidence. 

Let's Connect!

If you have yet to connect with me on LinkedIn then why not do it now? I share great content and have a lot of fun on there. I'd love you to join me there too.

Feminine leadership superpowers + wins & achievements = priceless

 

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

How to Be a LinkedIn Ninja - 10 levels

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  • Still unsure about how LinkedIn really works?
  • Need help letting go of your training wheels and getting more confident on the platform?
  • Just maybe you need to aim for LinkedIn Ninja status - executing bold, audacious LinkedIn connection, engagement and positioning tactics with grace and effortless ease.

Here are some typical LinkedIn profile types and behaviours to avoid so you gain mastery more easily.

Which profile type are you?

1. The Naysayer – totally in denial about the platform. You refuse to sign up for the platform, and criticise/judge those who do actively engage.

As unbelievable as this sounds, there are people out there who have yet to buy the LinkedIn dream. But as you’re reading this on LinkedIn I’m guessing you aren’t one of them!

What would I say to those who haven’t bought the dream yet? Social selling is a skill that is becoming increasingly more important. With flexible working arrangements, remote teams and globalisation of customer bases and followings, you definitely need to be able to persuade, influence and sell you and your ideas, both face to face AND online. LinkedIn is a great training ground and enables you to do this efficiently, smartly and affordably. Be there or be square. Don’t miss the boat.

2. The Loser - you have less than 100 connections, you’ve never heard of the 500+ connections unwritten ground rule and it’s obvious you’d really rather not be on LinkedIn.

Time to switch up your thinking. Start strategically connecting on a weekly basis – up, sideways and down – and with your future career goals in mind. Also, don’t forget to sync your mobile and/or your email device as a quick hack. Crack that 500+ barrier sooner rather than later.

3. The Near Enough is Good Enough - your profile pic is a selfie, or a glamour shot, or it looks like you cut your significant other out of the photo in a rush, and any of your LinkedIn activity is by happy accident rather than by design.

If you think of LinkedIn as a high end department store window display, that might help. In that window display you want to have next season's fashions on show. Not last season’s stock or end of line run-outs.

So how does that impact your LinkedIn profile? Your profile pic needs to be you on a good (and professional) day at the very least. And if you’re really serious about this, do invest in a photo-shoot done by a professional with your aspirational career goals in mind. Your profile needs to be pitched for the job you want, not the one you have.

4. The Behind the Times - you think of your profile purely as an online CV, and not even a very good one at that, and you’re playing a passive waiting game

A few years back the pundits were predicting that LinkedIn would replace the CV. And we’re seeing that right now, with some organisations providing interview panels with LinkedIn profiles only, not CVs, to help with candidate selection.

However, as the candidate, LinkedIn also enables you to demonstrate so much more than a regular CV, with the three tools of Executive Branding - presence, personal branding and positioning. For those aiming for LinkedIn Ninja status, go beyond the notion that LinkedIn is an online CV and focus more on carving out a powerful Executive Brand instead.

5. The Cheer Squad - you limit your involvement to random 'thumbs up' and 'great article' comments, and you wistfully observe others who are more confident expressing their opinion.

This is particularly relevant to those in the business of creating a movement. Quite possibly The Cheer Squad activities provide a great training ground, but you’ll need to move onto commenting, sharing and publishing sooner rather than later, or your movement may end up being more of a ripple.

6. The Stalker - you passively read articles and view profiles in the background, maybe even with your identify hidden.

Given the importance of trust in building meaningful on and offline relationships, stalkerish behaviour will undermine trust. 

As Lao Tzu said

"He who does not trust enough will not be trusted."

Obviously there are some situations where protecting your identity is paramount. But in most circumstances, being more overt will help build trust more easily.

If you are in the business of leading, then as Jesse Lyn Stoner reminds us

"People follow leaders by choice. Without trust, at best you get compliance." 

7. The Now You See Me, Now You Don’t - where you are super active in fits and starts, but when work gets busy you are least in sight. You try anything once or twice but with no plan, no system and no strategy.

You’ve probably heard of visibility as part of a career strategy. This is where you need to ensure you are seen and heard by decision makers inside and outside the business to ensure your own career progression. Well it works the same online. In a nutshell, if people can’t see you, they’ll forget about you more easily. Remember the rule of thumb ‘consistency trumps frequency’, stick a weekly LinkedIn visibility appointment in your calendar and you’ll be fine.  

8. The Squeaky Wheel – you’re on a mission with a cause with articles you like, share and publish clearly articulating a problem set, but never offering solutions.

Just like the boy who cried wolf, you want to make sure that people stay tuned into what you have on offer. It’s great to critique, but even better if you can then back that up with painting a picture of the future that others will want to inhabit. Unpack your key messages in multiple ways, to ensure you don’t sound like a broken record. Share positive and aspirational messages also, to ensure you don’t get a reputation as as ‘The Department of No’.

9. The Dominator – where you dominate the feed morning, noon or night, leaving others wondering when you fit work in, and you yourself begin to wonder why your post engagement is dropping.

Stop being busy, start being strategic. Think about how someone already super successful in your industry would typically behave on LinkedIn and emulate. If people start believing that all you do is sit on LinkedIn all day, you’re defeating the purpose and appearing desperate rather than successful. Bashing someone over the head with an idea, won’t make them believe in it any faster. In a nutshell, entice people in and leave them wanting more.

10. The LinkedIn Ninja – aka Linked-Ninja - you have fine tuned your social selling abilities and execute them effectively, efficiently and with effortless ease. You understand that LinkedIn is predominantly about building engagement, trust and rapport, so all your efforts are nuanced, coordinated and graceful. By way of metrics you’ve got;

  • A top 1% viewed profile in both your industry AND in your network,
  • A social selling index of 90% (check it out www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi/)
  • 3000+ connections with a repeatable plan for both engaging with those connections and growing new connections in the direction of your goals
  • Your average viewing rate on shares = 3000+
  • Your thumbs up rate on shares averages 50+
  • You have an average of 300+ viewing/eyeball rate on articles published
  • Your activity is all branded or themed and in alignment with your long term goals
  • Most importantly, you have a game behind the game – a long term goal that you hope to achieve with LinkedIn as just one part of the plan. And for the LinkedIn Ninja you are achieving in all those other areas of your life as well.

It’s a wrap!

Don’t mistake the map for the territory. Person to person connection and networking should still make up a significant part of your plan.

And here's wishing for you to achieve LinkedIn Ninja status with ease.

Share if you dare! And help a friend achieve LinkedIn mastery more easily.

And here are a couple more articles you might also like

___________________________________________________

 

  • Amanda Blesing is a speaker, mentor, trainer and thinker on all things Executive Brand
  • She has accidental LinkedIn Ninja status and helps busy experts and executive women to avoid making the same mistakes that she did!
  • Sign up for weekly inspiration straight to your inbox www.amandablesing.com

 

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

7 signs you suffer from conditional success - and what you can do about it

Sometimes we treat success like it’s an If This,Then That (IfTTT) piece of software.

  • Awesome when you are focusing on productivity, efficiency or behaviour change (such as if I have a chocolate bar, I have to go to the gym (thanks Matt Church))
  • But lousy when it’s about making your success conditional on something that you may or may not have much control over. and
  • Extremely lousy when the very thing that you are restricting yourself from might actually be the catalyst for big change.

Here are some typical thought patterns that indicate you suffer from conditional success - 

  1. I’ll apply for my dream role after I've proven myself
  2. I'll put my hand up for that opportunity when I feel better prepared
  3. I'll ask for a raise only when I've finished delivering on this project 
  4. I'll change jobs after I finally turn the organisation / department around 
  5. I'll invest in a coach once I get a raise 
  6. I'll take a grownup gap year when I've got enough years under my belt 
  7. I'll hang in a bit longer yet and only take that holiday with my family, once I feel really worn out.

Well tomorrow never comes. And if you’ve done #7 then you probably spent the first week on annual leave recovering from a cold anyway. Plus there is far too much evidence available that supports the notion that successful people do it the other way around. They back themselves and invest in themselves pre-emptively then they become successful. 

So maybe it’s time to rethink your approach. 


WHEN THE CONDITIONAL APPROACH DIDN'T WORK


I heard a story the other day about an executive who waited until after they won a new role before they booked in with an Executive Coach. In their mind, the coaching was a reward for winning the role. Nice.  

However, during the course of salary negotiations for the new role, their new employer had negotiated the package down by a significant amount from the originally advertised offer, with cunning arguments and compelling tactics.   Not so nice.

For the executive, who now feels slightly ripped off but determined to do better at the next opportunity, a more confident, strategic and proactive approach might have been ...

"I've got the opportunity to really springboard here and negotiate the best salary possible for myself.  So instead of trying to puzzle it out myself, why not get support in advance to maximise the amount I'll be able to negotiate for myself in this transaction?"

Yes, it's a risk. But only in the short term. In the long term it is a smart 'n savvy investment in yourself.

FEELING LUCKY?

Sometimes we think that some people are lucky when they are successful. But I dispute that. Maybe instead of lucky they are incredibly focused and invest heavily the right things.  After all, as the old saying goes, luck is what happens when planning meets opportunity. And as Shonda Rhymes famously said - “I’m not lucky ..... call me badass”. 

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MAKE YOUR SUCCESS UNCONDITIONAL


Don’t make your success conditional. Instead build in mechanisms that support your success preemptively - just like eating healthy, getting lots of sleep or exercising are preemptive support for your wellness and long term good health.  

So next time you hear your own mental rationale of "I'll do this once I've achieved that" start getting curious at your conditional thinking. And quite possibly you'll find you're putting the horse in front of the wrong cart entirely.

And one final point for you to remember, success is an inside job - if you wait until you feel successful enough you'll be waiting a lifetime.


Feminine leadership superpowers + unconditional success = priceless
 


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

Little known negotiation starters that work for executive women

I'm assuming you've heard of Sheryl Sandberg of Lean In fame. If you haven't read the book then do yourself a favour and watch the TED talk or listen to her NPR TED Radio Hour interview with Guy Raz, at the very least.  

And if you are really hooked, try reading her latest book Option B about facing adversity, building resilience, and finding joy.  But that's another story.

Sheryl was inspirational for me when it came to helping women negotiate for themselves - because I felt that if she, of all people, found it tough, then it might just be quite tough. And that there had to be a better way.

We know from research that in general men negotiate 4 x more frequently than women and when women do negotiate we negotiate for about 1/3 less.  However you cannot tell me that men are setting up formal negotiation discussions 4 x per year more than women to do this. There simply wouldn't be enough time in the day and  ..... it doesn't make sense.

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Casual negotiation starters for women

In fact, I think that if we were to decode these numbers, we'd find out that those negotiation conversations are just that. Conversations at different intervals and rarely in a meeting room.        

  • On the way to the car park
  • In the lift
  • On the golf course
  • Out cycling 
  • Out to dinner/coffee/lunch
  • At after work drinks
  • In a taxi on the way back from winning a deal
  • Et cetera, et cetera 

I think you get the picture.

Plus when we understand the situational context then we layer in the casual conversation starters that might go something like this -

"Mate - when are having those salary discussions? After the results we just delivered I'd be keen to bring it forward"

The conversation is more likely a casual and light hearted reminder - rather than a formal discussion or request.  

Be aware, that gendered negotiation is a thing. Some of the more direct and aggressive tactics I've heard of men using, would definitely backfire on a woman. Stereotypes, socialisation and unconscious bias abound and both men and women fall foul of it.

Once again, I'm sure you get this picture too.

Don't let no stop you asking again

However, I've also learned from a negotiation advocate for women who lead (yes there is such a thing) that when a woman is told no when negotiating for herself, she is more likely to take it as final. But when a bloke is told no, he is more likely to hear it as a "no, not right now but do come back later" and then asks again at another date.

Be that as it may, self negotiation works best for women when we are able to align ourselves with others. Why not try one of these five cheeky lines as a negotiation starter next time you get the chance?        

  • "I've checked against the industry benchmark and we're missing the mark with my salary by xxxx %  ..... Can we look at that today?"
  • "Sheryl Sandberg would be disappointed with me if I didn't ask ..." 
  • "I'd be letting all women down every where if I didn't ask for a raise ..."
  • "Given negotiation is part and parcel of my professional expertise, I'd be letting the side down if I didn't negotiate well on my own behalf"
  • "Given that advocacy is part of my role, I'm here to discuss salary for myself and my team ..."    

I even heard of one women in an initial salary discussion successfully negotiating an increase of 45%+ on the initial offer because she referred to WGEA gender salary data and then asked her potential new employer to benchmark the offer against other male managers at the same level in the organisation. Given the organisation's very public stance on gender equity, they didn't just meet her part way, they met her the entire way. (Definitely smart AND savvy).

When you refer to other perspectives it somehow lends legitimacy to your argument and demonstrates that you’ve thought this through.  And when you refer to “we” it somehow adds credibility – you are part of a bigger picture.

I know that timing will be an issue, so do be smart. Planning and preparation is critical, but do get the conversation going. 

And remember, if at first you don't succeed, do try again.

And do let me know how you go.

P.S. There is an entire chapter in my book, Step Up Speak Out Take Charge, devoted to negotiation because I believe it's that important. If we're to eliminate the gender salary gap, and make meaningful inroads into eliminating the gender superannuation gap, then negotiation 101 for women should be taught at school. Don't be a circumstantial victim. Learn how to negotiate now.

Feminine leadership superpowers + self advocacy = priceless

Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambition

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

 

 

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Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

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.
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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

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Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

How to 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

The cost of well meaning, poor advice for busy executives

Ask most people the best way to get a raise, a promotion or a better opportunity and chances are they’ll say: “Just go to more networking events!”

Or - “Just get more active on LinkedIn!”

Or - "Work hard! Volunteer for more projects! Cycle with the boss!”

Somehow it’s as if randomly working hard on a whole heap of stuff, something will somehow magically help you find your next perfect opportunity.

If you’ve ever tried that approach, I’m betting you paid the price in terms of feeling worn out, worn down and then falling back into the trap of doubting yourself again.

Rejection is exhausting. And so is well meaning, poor advice. When you don’t know how to discern the difference between great or poor advice, it’s no wonder people continue to play a waiting game.

You're likely already working hard enough, so it's time to work smarter instead. And my favorite piece of advice is, “Stop being busy, start being strategic".

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

And that’s what this article is all about today.


There was a blog I wrote a year or so ago about finding the sweet spot, applying the Goldilocks Principle and using the Minimum Effective Dose.  It’s still relevant today.

But if you don’t have time to read the blog, then simply ask yourself this one question every day ...

Less_Is_More_executive_career.jpg

“What’s the #1 thing I can do today that will move the dial on my goals?” 

Then just do it. Nothing more, nothing less.

Sometimes less truly is more, and leaves you feeling stronger, more certain and far more confident about your ability to make better decisions.

Hope is not a strategy and knowledge is no longer a form of power.  It’s what you do with both your hope and knowledge that truly makes a difference.

Remember - smart and savvy truly is the name of this game! 


Vive la révolution!  #ambitionrevolution #executivebrand

Expertise + strategic action = priceless

Email me if you have a strategic success story you want to share with me!

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

Effective & Efficient LinkedIn Formula for the Time Poor

One of the biggest issues I'm asked about is how to leverage LinkedIn effectively and with only a small amount of time. You've seen my profile and know that I went from 1k connections (acquired mostly by happy accident) in 2015 to almost 9k connections in 2017, mostly by strategic design, so it's a fair assumption I know quite a bit about LinkedIn. In fact, my livelihood depends on me knowing how to be effective and efficient on LinkedIn - so you'd be right.

But back to you -  with the end of financial year (EOFY) looming, I'm guessing that right now you are head down, bottom up, forgetting to fly the flag for brand you despite knowing you should. 

And while LinkedIn is definitely a far more strategic brand you flag flying option than Facebook, it can still be an absolute black hole when you don't really know what activities count. So to help you avoid the black hole of wasted time, or worse, becoming invisible inside and outside your business during the EOFY busy patch, here is my best advice.


Minimum Effective Dose

Do you remember some years ago when Tim Ferriss published the Four Hour Body? In the book he popularised the idea of the Minimum Effective Dose (the MED). The MED is the minimum amount you can do to achieve the required outcome - not too much, not too little, but just right. A bit like the Pareto Principle where you spend 20% of effort to achieve 80% of the result.

Well I believe you can apply the same on LinkedIn. Yes there will be times when you do more, but if you're about to hit up against the EOFY with major project deadlines along with KPIs for both you and your staff under review - then the MED is exactly what you need right now.

There are two things to do before you start - 

  1. Make a diary appointment with yourself once each week for just 15 minutes at a time when most of your ideal target market is likely to be on LinkedIn to do your LinkedIn MED work
  2. Then in that time, implement the 5:3:1 routine detailed below.


Quick and Easy LinkedIn Visibility Hack - as easy as 5:3:1


The focus of the 5:3:1 hack is tactical and practical with the goal to keep you visible and memorable for all the right reasons.  Remember that - visible and memorable for the right reasons. 

  • 5 - LIKE 5 things that others have shared such as articles/images, job changes or anniversaries that are aligned with your executive brand and/or from people you want to stay visible with
  • 3 - COMMENT on 3 items that people have shared in the main thread AND in groups. Make sure your comments are aligned with your executive brand or in groups where it's important you remain visible with
  • 1 - SHARE 1 article of your own (once again alighned with your executive brand) with a reflective comment about why this is important to your industry or to leadership more broadly.

Finally, it's important to note that the formula is based on the SWAG methodology (thanks Dan Klein)  - you know, the Scientific Wild Ass Guess methodology - balancing effort and impact.  Those activities that require more effort, if done right, can have greater impact so you need to do them less frequently. And those activities that require less effort, and are likely to have less of an impact, are more frequent.

Sound easy? It is! And then when you find yourself with more time you can play a bigger game.


Does 5:3:1 work for a consultant?
 

Absolutely, if you're a consultant and you find yourself overwhelmed with work, you can do the same but I'd recommend making a diary appointment with yourself 3 x per week instead of just once.  Plus I'd recommend that you Publish/Post one article per week in addition to sharing.   

Your goal? To get your LinkedIn profile working for you 24/7 while you sleep until such time as you find yourself with more time to spend, then be sure to go ahead and do more.

Effective&efficient


Effective AND efficient every time


Remember, anything is better than nothing, and an easy system or process that you do, is far better than a perfect system or process that you never do. But a 5:3:1 social media formula for being visible at the right time, right place, with the right audience, and the right key messages is both efficient AND effective.

Have fun with this! And let me know how you go.

Remember - smart and savvy truly is the name of this game! 
Vive la révolution!  #ambitionrevolution #executivebrand

Email me if you have a LinkedIn expert status success story you want to share with me.

Or get in touch if you need a help with unpacking and selling your expert status brand more skilfully.

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 rise of the fempreneur both inside and outside of your organisation

The most important factor in determining whether you will succeed isn’t your gender, it’s you. Be open to opportunity and take risks. In fact, take the worst, the messiest, the most challenging assignment that you can find, and then take control.
— Angela Braly, CEO, WellPoint


We live in extremely exciting times with the numbers of women pursuing entrepreneurial ventures on the rise. Did you know that .....    

“Women-owned entities in the formal sector represent approximately 37 percent of enterprises globally — a market worthy of attention by businesses and policy makers alike. While aggregated data is often challenging to find, the recent Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) found 126 million women starting or running businesses, and 98 million operating established (over three and a half years) businesses. That’s 224 million women impacting the global economy — and this survey counts only 67 of the 188 countries recognized by the World Bank.”
Anoop Saxena, Founder & CEO, Womenora


In fact, 35-55-year-old female entrepreneurs are the biggest demographic, according to Drew Hendricks on Inc Magazine.

So what does this have to do with executive women?

FempreneurPower.jpg

The rise of the female entrepreneur is not limited to small business.  In fact throughout business, government and corporate there is a significant increase in the number of women establishing expert status as both infopreneurs (those who trade in information and ideas) and intrapreneurs (those who innovate, take risks and create new ways of doing things inside corporates). Each of these are aspects of entrepreneurialism, ergo, the feminine entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in many areas of our society.

While creating, innovating and tailoring products and services specifically for women is smart in the entrepreneurial world I wonder if in fact it’s not so smart when it comes to the gender diversity and helping women lead.

When women speak to women’s only audiences, we’re preaching to the converted. We’re also not addressing or shining a light on the issues that frequently hold women back to the people who are best positioned to do anything about it.

One area where we can make a big difference - conference planning

Over the course of my own career, I’ve booked and briefed more speakers than you can poke a stick at. I always made a point to ask speaker bureaus and brokers for female speakers for technical conferences whether they were legal, insurance, policy or consumer affairs conferences or roundtables.

One thing I remember, that despite asking for female speakers on technical topics, I’d be told that audiences preferred male speakers ( ….. yawn .....right ....).

Something else I noticed was that there was definitely a shift in the last 10 or so years, as more female speakers came on board - however they were all speaking on female empowerment topics. (Hand on heart, I fit the bill as well.)


Why are these issues a problem?

The first is that the speaker gatekeeper was perhaps not as aware of gender diversity and inclusion principles as you might expect.  Don't believe the hype. Mixed gender audiences also love female speakers.

In my time, four of the audience favourites included Amanda McKenzie (a member of the youth climate coalition), Major Matina Jewell (on leading in a crisis), Avril Henry (on leadership more broadly) and Jane Caro (on consumer emotion), who each received rave reviews from men and women alike.

Secondly, if women keep preaching to the converted and to those who are already feeling marginalised, others inside organisations and industry, who may in fact hold more power to do something about it, never hear about the issues in the first place.

And finally, we keep perpetuating the cycle that aligns masculine voice with leadership and expert status. When we don't hear women speaking on leadership and expertise more broadly, men AND women don't see it was a viable option.

Reframe for a challenge

This week I was delighted to accept the opportunity to emcee the Project Management Institute Australian Conference in Sydney. Yes, it is a peak body event, showcasing innovative ideas, best practice and establishing benchmarks and standards for industry. Yes, it’s important that women are seen and heard on such conference programs and panels in areas that showcase expertise and leadership. And no, I didn’t insist on hosting the sessions designed to empower women.  

I'm delighted to emcee and create arguments and linkages, that help those women and men in the project management profession to create more effective pathways to leadership.  


Embrace your inner Expert and accept the challenge

It's got me thinking. As a result, I issue a challenge -        

  • To female executives, experts and speakers, whether you're trading in information, business transformation or creating new realities - to step outside of the narrow band of women's only topics and to tailor content for mixed gender audiences.        
  • To speaker brokers, bureaus, conference planners and conference planning committees - to program with gender diversity front of mind, but to look beyond gender. Don't simply program women on female empowerment topics and men for leading in a crisis topics. Consider fempreneurs and experts in the mix for technical and generic leadership topics, and consider male speakers for topics stereo-typically aligned with the feminine such as emotional intelligence and communication.  

Why?  

Because if we are going to move the dial on gender diversity, then we need to create a seat at the leadership table, not just at the table for women.  And until we change the landscape and establish a new normal for expert status, smart and highly visible women still run the risk of remaining in the margins.  And having feminine voice heard and accepted as part of this new normal is not just great for business, but great for men and women as well.

Go on and embrace your inner expert. You know you want to!

Feminine Leadership Super Powers + Fempreneur Expert Status = Priceless


Remember - smart and savvy truly is the name of this game! Vive la révolution!  #ambitionrevolution #feminineambition #executivebrand

Email me if you have a fempreneur expert status success story you want to share with me.

Or get in touch if you need a help with unpacking and selling your expert status brand more skilfully.

 

Liked this article? Try some 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

How executive women can grab attention without swearing

At the bottom of this article is a video from mother, author and swearing expert, Melissa Mohr, Ph.D. to provide mothers with 'alternative curse words' as their get out of jail card free in times of stress ……  but first …..

Do you struggle to grab attention at work, in meetings, or on social media platforms such as LinkedIn? Despite best intentions at staying visible, standing out and being noticed by the decision makers, you’re battling to be taken seriously?

No longer is it good enough to go to work and do our job well rigorously, thoroughly and properly. Instead we also need to back ourselves, sell ourselves and articulate our expertise in language the business values and understands. In fact, we need to be our own PR, comms and marketing department rolled into one.

But it's getting really hard to cut through the clutter. Some senior level, seemingly, super successful executive women share with me that despite flying the flag for their future leadership brand 24/7 they still get bypassed and don’t know what they’re doing wrong.

Shorter attention span than a goldfish (yes you read that right)

Maybe it’s not just you, but it’s the reality of the human condition. In fact, it’s official  - as modern urbanised beings we have a problem. According to researchers, human beings now have an attention span shorter than a goldfish (9 seconds). 

With the increase of mobile technology and demands on our attention ever increasing our attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds (according to Canadian researchers in a study by Microsoft).  

No wonder you’re struggling to be taken seriously - it’s an uphill battle!

The new rules of engagement to Ensure your killer point is remembered

While we now know it’s not enough for your results to speak for themselves, it’s becoming obvious that even if and when you do speak to them, unless you work out a way of cutting through the clutter - your big ideas, your best suggestions, your great input, will run the risk of being bypassed. And businesses desperately need people with new ideas to solve old problems.

The new rule of engagement - 'she who can grab and hold attention will win'.  So developing techniques and skills that showcase your thought leadership, that capturepersuade, and influence, are part and parcel of your leadership tool kit.  

And while you might think it’s too hard, here are some great rules of thumb to keep in mind next time you need to grab and hold attention.

  1. First impressions count - after all, you never get a second chance to make a first impression
  2. But those impressions must be backed up with substance and content to build on your leadership brand, otherwise you’ll lose your credibility (achievements, case studies, results, evidence, arguments, commentary)
  3. Know what you stand for (key messages)
  4. And why - people don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it
  5. Make it relevant - so your audience identifies with you
  6. Articulate this in different ways - so you don’t sound like a broken record
  7. Consistency and congruence trumps frequency - you don't have to wear people down or people will switch off.

So back to the video

Our swearing expert is also an expert at grabbing and retaining attention.  While I'm not an advocate of either swearing or Mac & Cheese, this campaign did really well all over the globe. The campaign uses humour, surprise, statistics (and flips statistics really effectively), shock value, empathy, popular phraseology and is relevant (for Mothers Day - right audience, right key message, right time, right place, right battles.)  So while you probably wouldn’t use some of what she does, you might employ one or two of the devices quite effectively.

Why? Because business, community and government need smart 'n savvy women with big, bold and new ideas leading!

And if you want help with this, do get in touch.

Feminine Leadership Superpowers + Attention = Priceless

And happy belated Mothers Day! .

Click the video below...

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