Do You Have a Growth Mindset?

Do you have a Growth Mindset?

Learn the difference between Fixed and Growth Mindset and figure out where your perceptions, beliefs and attitudes about success land.   


Mindset informs our perceptions which determine our actions and decisions. In short, mindset is everything! It shapes how we experience the world.   


In her 2006 book, Mindset: The New Psychology of SuccessStanford Professor Carol Dweck identifies two opposite mindsets – Fixed Mindset and Growth Mindset. 


Success belongs to those who adopt the Growth Mindset. But if you feel that your mindset leans on the fixed side, the good news from Dweck is, you can recalibrate your thinking –  


“Mindsets are an important part of your personality, but you can change them. Just by knowing about the two mindsets, you can start thinking and reacting in new ways.”


Refer to the guide below to understand the difference and to figure out where your perceptions, beliefs and attitudes about success land.   


Fixed vs Growth Mindset - Comparative Table


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Why the Leader-Manager is the Ideal Executive

Leaders and managers are distinctive but complementary roles. One cannot function without the other in executive leadership. 


When it comes to preparing yourself for high-level roles, the prevailing belief is that you should stop acting like a manager and be more of a leader.  


Author and business professor, John Kotter suggests that – management and leadership are different but complementary skill sets. They need to work in tandem as you mature into an executive role.  


Knowing these fundamental differences between a leader and a manager, according to Kotter, will help you understand why one cannot function without the other. 


(Source: What Leaders Really Do by John P. Kotter, December 2001 Harvard Business Review )


 Leader vs Manager


Invest in your success by sharpening both your leadership and management skills. Reserve your spot today for the Authentic Leadership Summit and elevate your executive development. 


Authentic Leadership Summit 2020 - March 17 to 20



How to Get More Women to Advance in the Workplace

How to Get More Women to Advance in the Workplace

Ever tried climbing a ladder that had a step missing? It’s difficult, right?


Well, according to the Women in the Workplace 2019 study, there is a “broken rung” or a gap in the succession line of women at first level management positions.


The leadership ladder, it seems, is missing a step and is proving difficult to climb for women.


According to the authors, “fixing it will set off a positive chain reaction across the entire pipeline. As more women become managers, there will be more women to promote and hire at each subsequent level. Put another way, more entry-level women will rise to management, and more women in management will rise to senior leadership.”


In a previous post (Forget Mentors. What Women Need Are Sponsors.), we identified “sponsorship” as a key strategy to get more women to advance in leadership roles.


But what more can be done to fix the broken rung that is keeping women from reaching top level positions in companies?


Sponsorship is a fantastic example of how women in senior positions can help those rising through the ranks (it’s a concept that gets discussed a lot at our Women in Leadership Summits)


But the great news is that everyone, regardless of seniority or gender, can do something to influence diversity in favor of more women rising in your organisation’s hierarchy.


Here are 4 practices you can implement right now.


1. Refer more qualified women candidates


60% of successful hires come from referrals. Actively support your company’s hiring and promotion efforts by referring more qualified women in first-level management positions. Your leaders will surely appreciate your loyalty and regard you as someone who is fully invested in the company’s future success.


2. Nominate more female co-workers for advancement opportunities and initiatives


Studies have revealed that women generally hesitate to put themselves forward when there’s an opportunity for a promotion, a high-profile initiative or any chance to shine in the workplace. Give your overlooked but talented coworker her much deserved kudos. Sing her praises every chance you get for your leaders to take notice.


3. Speak up against unfair bias


No matter where you are in your organisation, you should feel safe to call out bias and act accordingly when you see it. Consequently, you should feel empowered to objectively question policies and systems like performance evaluations, if you observe them to be biased and unfair to women.


4. Start a peer-to-peer training initiative


Training is crucial in preparing women for management roles. If your company does not provide structured training to support and grow a pipeline of female talent, band together and organise a group on your own. Women helping each other to advance their leadership education is an effective way to get the experience they need, raise their profile and be tapped for leadership opportunities.


Australia’s pioneering businesswomen are coming together to help more women rise the corporate ladder or start and grow their own company. Join them by reserving your spot for The Empowered Woman Summit 2020 on 26th March.


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How to Take Stock of Your Career Using a SWOT Analysis

How to Take Stock of Your Career Using a SWOT Analysis

Do you check in on yourself? Do you weigh in on how you’re going? What went well? What didn’t? And where you want to go? Career introspection is a necessary exercise that we do not do often enough.


But if you approach taking stock of your professional and personal development in the same efficient way you do business, then you can better figure out the answers to these big questions.


Organising your personal inventory using the classic SWOT tool below will give you a better sense of what you have to offer and how your goals might fit into that. Writing down your own Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats can help you understand who you are in depth, strategise your professional growth and uncover your true potential.


Let’s dive in —



  1. Which opportunities should you pursue?
  2. What activities should you spend more time on?
  3. Name the things you need to – a) start doing and b) stop doing now?
  4. What current skills do you need to brush up on?
  5. What new skills do you need to pick up?


Taking stock of your abilities using SWOT is a powerful tool that can help you make smart and informed decisions. To learn more on how you can take your career to the next level, sign up for The Empowered Woman 2020.

The Empowered Woman 2020

Forget Mentors. What Women Need Are Sponsors.

Understanding Sponsorship and Why it’s the Best Strategy for Women to Advance in Leadership 


The latest Women in the Workplace Report by McKinsey & Company highlights an increasing number of organisations who are seeing the value of having more women in senior leadership roles. While this is a move in the right direction towards gender diversity, women continue to be underrepresented at every level. 


The study has identified that the biggest obstacle to women advancing in their careers is not at the “glass ceiling”, but at the lower rungs of the corporate ladder – the first step from staff member to manager.


To fix the “broken rung”, women need stronger support to access stepping-stone jobs. A more deliberate focus on career sponsorship is one strategy to help more women rise to the top and achieve gender parity. 

Mentor vs Sponsor: What’s the difference


Simply put, mentors advise while sponsors advocate. The difference is also in the level of support. According to Herminia Ibarra, Professor of Organizational Behavior at London Business School and author of Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader –  


“In a mentoring relationship, the mentor provides personal advice and support privately, with no more at stake than the time invested. While a classic sponsorship relationship, the sponsor advocates for an individual, typically in a succession contest for a significant role, with his or her reputation at stake.” 


A sponsor can certainly make or break a career much more than a mentor. Here’s a quick guide to help you understand the difference and strategise your career growth.


Mentor vs Sponsor - What's The Difference?

Career Checklist 


Take stock of your career and determine whether sponsorship is the right approach to your professional development by answering these questions – 


  • Who is the highest-ranking, most influential leader in the organisation who knows you? 
  • Do you work well together? 
  • Would they be willing to vouch for your talent? 
  • If those who know you and your work are not powerful enough, can they connect you with someone who is? 
  • Who can you approach for high-level assignments? 
  • Who can introduce you to high-level decision makers? 
  • How will you advance to the next notch? 
  • Who can help you get there? 


On the flip-side, becoming a sponsor yourself might even be the better strategy to advance in your career. If you build a reputation for sponsoring other women to succeed in your organisation, you are more likely to rise to the top as well. 


And so, ask yourself –  


  • Who do you bring along with you on the way to the top? 
  • How will you help sponsor more women to succeed?  
  • Have you identified high potential women proteges to sponsor within your team?  


Learn how you can sponsor and empower the next generation of female leaders from the country’s most influential women in business. Reserve your spot for The Empowered Woman 2020.


The Empowered Woman 2020

How To “Ultralearn” and Accelerate Your Career

How to ultralearn and accelerate your career

To be successful in the modern workplace, you need to be constantly learning and growing. Accelerating your career demands that you stack up on knowledge and skills and learn them rapidly while fulfilling the daily requirements of your job.   

Successful companies like Google, for example, view learning and development as an essential part of the culture with the 20% rule which requires all employees to assign dedicated time to learn a skill.  

With or without the support of your organisation, it’s still possible to create the space and make learning a habit. How do you do it?  


Hello ‘Ultralearning’  


Scott Young, author of Ultralearning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition and Accelerate Your Career, achieved fame for teaching himself the four-year MIT computer science curriculum in just 12 months.  


The same rapid and focused type of ‘ultralearning’ according to Scott, whether it’s to develop skills from coding to foreign languages, to public speaking, is possible for all of us.  


In his book, he lays out the techniques for how to teach yourself exceptionally quickly. Aside from charting his ultralearning journey, he studied people who have accomplished impressive self-directed learning projects.   


5 Steps to Start your Ultralearning Project  

If you are learning on your own for the first time, it’s ok if you don’t know exactly what you need to learn or how to do it. So, before you crack open a book or sign up for a course, take these steps to get your ultralearning project off to a good start –  

1. Identify the specific skill you want to acquire and that you can learn within a short period, say 1 to 2 months.  

2. Research how other people learned that skill in the past.  

3. Do a simple Google search to identify what learning resources are available.  

4. Find people who have learned the skill and have a conversation about the resources they used. This step is extremely crucial because you can’t waste time with resources that are not the best for the type of skill you want to learn.  

5. Schedule dedicated time for learning. Using Google’s 20% rule as an example, set aside Friday’s for weekly learning.  


5 Ways to Transfer Ultralearning  

Transfer learning is when you learn something from a book, an online course or a classroom and apply it in a different context, like in the real world, for example. Here are five ways to make the most out ultralearning and successfully transfer new knowledge into serviceable skills – 

 1. Just do it.   

Obviously, you need to start practising and failing forward to gain confidence in your new skill. If you’re trying to learn a new language, for example, start training by having more conversations.  

2. Mock projects  

While you’re still in the process of building competence to be functional in your new skill, work on mock projects such as a test website if you’re trying to learn how to create one.  

3. Space repetition  

If studying requires intense memorisation like learning tax codes or human anatomy, for example, use the flashcard technique to recall vast amounts of information effectively. 

4. Over-learning  

It’s the method of applying your new skills in a more challenging context. For example, using your newly acquired knowledge of coding by performing website troubleshooting, is the fastest way to gain mastery. 

5. Master and apprentice model   

Learning a new skill in tandem with someone who actually knows the skill can help you get quick feedback. Learning this way enables you to get from studying to performing super-fast.   

Live training and events a
llow you to “ultralearn” through the knowledge and experience of certified experts. Start your learning plan and accelerate your career by reserving your spot for any of our expertly curated content and speaker lineup in 2020.  


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How Women Can Negotiate To Get What They Want

Negotiation For Women

A quick guide for women to develop the skills to become their own best advocate 

Rachel, who works in a medium-sized finance consulting firm, was excited to share the news of her promotion from Marketing Manager to Director. When asked whether she was happy about the pay rise, she said she received a modest bump.  

As she stepped into her new role, Rachel slowly came to realize that she was underpaid. And compared to her predecessor, the Marketing Director role grew significantly in scope and complexity. 

Rachel was blindsided. She could have asked for a better salary package by leveraging on her future capability. But like most women, she was only too happy to accept the promotion without negotiating.  

Rachel’s story is all too familiar according to the study by the Melbourne Business School on 
Women-focused Negotiation Training: A Gendered Solution to a Gendered Problem – “Women are reluctant to initiate negotiations in the workplace. When women do negotiate, they ask for too little, they are too willing to accept early offers, and they are too quick to accommodate. As a result, women are repeatedly disadvantaged in salary, developmental opportunities, and other resources that they need for successful careers.”  

The study compiles the interview responses of 84 women from primarily large organizations with more than 500 employees. Their responses highlight their experiences in workplace negotiations – what were the negotiations about, who they negotiated with and the effect on their work relationships and self-esteem. 

The interviews have uncovered the roadblocks that keep women from becoming their own best advocate. But the good news is – women can strategize to vanquish these roadblocks and negotiate the best outcome for themselves. 

Below is a summary of negotiation challenges according to the study and the recommendations on how to overcome them.

Negotiation Training For Women - Summary Guide

Develop smart negotiation skills and earn your ideal salary. Sign up for The Empowered Woman Summit and learn from Australia’s leading power businesswomen.  


The Empowered Woman 2020

4 Strategies to Supercharge Your Professional Development

Here are 4 strategies you can do right now to super-charge your career.

It’s never too early to start planning your professional development goals and actions in 2020. Check out our lineup of courses and events to get ahead of career trends, expand your network and learn new skill sets. 


If you are looking to improve yourself at work, it’s time to go beyond what your company offers in the learning and development department. As work becomes more competitive, moving up to the next level requires a more proactive approach to training. 


Here are 4 strategies you can do right now to super-charge your career. 


1. Take a hard look at your skills  

What skill, knowledge, and experience gaps do you need to fill to be excellent at your current job and be considered to move up to the next level? There are three areas in your professional tool kit that you will need to check –   

Technical – the ability to perform specific tasks or the level in which you operate systems and applications to be functional at your job. For example, if your job requires some Excel skills, consider increasing your level from “basic” to “expert.”   

Communication – the ability to process, organise, and articulate information. Asking the right questions is an important communication skill. So is listening and understanding your audience and tailoring what you say and how you say it. How would you rate your writing skills? How about your presentation skills? Having excellent communication skills sets you up for success in your current role and beyond.   

Enterprise – the ability to create business value. You do not have to own a business to learn enterprise skills. You need to show real interest in how your company does business. Consider leveling up on skills such as spotting market opportunities, suggesting ways to improve processes, or coming up with new ideas to serve customers better. These are skills that employers will pay top dollar for.   


2. Get Your Manager’s Feedback  

Include your manager in your professional development journey by asking for feedback. Questions like – what does it mean to be successful in your position? What are your KSIs (Key Success Indicators)? What will it take to be considered for a promotion, and what is the timeframe for that?   

Receiving this kind of feedback is essential to your professional growth and should be an
on-going conversation with your manager.  If that’s not happening, understand the success indicators of your role. Identify and track your weekly, monthly, and quarterly targets so that you are well prepared when the evaluation period comes around.  


3Research your company or industry 

Keep an ear to the ground and find out the issues, threats, and opportunities that are of growing concern to your company. Then plan to increase your knowledge or competence in that area. For example, your company is grappling with a time waste issue, study up, and write a proposal with specific action plans to address it.   

You can circulate this internally or write a white paper and publish it. Developing your expertise in an area of increasing importance to your company or industry can be your ticket to a more rewarding career opportunity.    


4. Put it all together and map out a plan.  

List the 5 to 10 skills you need to develop in your career for 2020. Then identify the classes, online courses, books, and conferences you need. Lastly, take out your calendar and allocate the time to do them. A good rule of thumb when allocating time for learning is the 80-20 Rule. For example, block-off 8 hours out of your 40-hour workweek for training. 


“Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.” 

Dwight Eisenhower 


The irony of plan is that it’s useless and can only be valuable when you set it in motion.
If you have started on a plan, congratulations! You are one step closer to your goal and have defined in your mind the outcome you desire for your career. 
Now go and make them happen!