You Didn’t Get That Promotion. Now What?

You Didn't Get That Promotion. Now What?

Read This Before You Decide Your Next Career Move

Have you ever been passed over for a promotion after months of preparation and anticipation? 


It’s not an uncommon experience – your superior resigns and recommends that you assume the role per the order of succession. Then the powers-that-be supersede your promotion with an external hire. 


It’s a massive loss of an opportunity to advance as a reward for your talent and effort. Not only that, but you also lost a trusted boss and mentor, and now you have to start from scratch and build a relationship with the stranger who took your dream job.


It will probably take a week or two to fully recover from the shock, anger and despair of this crushing defeat. While it’s good to give yourself some time to lick your wounds, don’t take too long. You need to bounce back quickly and decide on a path forward. 


Three common options come to mind –

  1. Accept the decision and return to your current job
  2. Quit the current job and find another role in the company
  3. Quit the company altogether


Before you decide on your next career move, evaluate your situation objectively. Use this questionnaire as your helpful guide –


10 Point Career Self Evaluation Test


If you answered mostly “yes”, trust that you are with the right company, while you were not elevated to the position you desire, it might do you well to stick around. Understand the reasons why you were passed over, resolve to fill the skill gaps and keep performing at your best to be considered for the next round of opportunity.


If you answered mostly “no” it’s probably time to quit and move on. The experience of being denied a coveted promotion can be illuminating once you take the time to self-evaluate. You may discover that you’ve been stuck in a job for too long or that you are not getting the recognition you deserve.


A career rejection is a powerful learning experience. Surviving it can lead to even better opportunities going forward. Start by learning from Australia’s most inspiring businesswomen the tools to advance in your own leadership journey. Register today for The Empowered Woman 2020.


The Empowered Woman 2020


27 Secrets of Likeable Leaders

If you are aspiring for senior leadership in 2020, you need to take stock of your social capital – or your likeability factor. Are you generally well-liked by staff, peers and superiors in your company?


You may argue that leadership is not a popularity contest. But to lead successfully in the modern business setting, you need to prioritise winning organisational trust and cooperation over outcomes.


To define what it means to be likeable in this context, consider Nick’s case, a former CFO turned CEO in a medium-sized financial consulting firm. Nick was the obvious choice – he is the biggest brain in the company and has contributed immensely to its strategic growth.


Within a month into the role, the company’s account management team complained to the board that Nick was an exceptional finance guy with zero social intelligence.


The board was optimistic that he will gradually ease into his new role and learn the social skills to lead effectively. But Nick realised that a CEO urgently needed to manage critical relationships, or the business will tank. Recognising that it will take him a long time to adapt, Nick resigned as CEO and retreated to his old job.


Nick’s lack of social intelligence has emerged as the make-or-break leadership quality. Technical smarts and strategic mastery allowed him to be an outstanding individual contributor. But to be an effective CEO, he needed to artfully navigate through complex social constructs – a challenge he was ill-equipped for.


It is worth pointing out that being likeable is not the only trait that makes a leader great. But it is one of those areas that, with some practice, everyone can improve in, therefore making it an important area for development for many current and aspiring leaders.


In our previous post on The Leadership Qualities That Matter, the leaders surveyed have identified communication as the most critical skill to have in your leadership tool kit. And the ability to communicate powerfully is inextricably linked to social influence and likeability. It is the secret sauce of highly successful leaders.


It may be too late for Nick, but you can start to learn the communication habits of likeable people to influence, inspire and lead successfully. And for that you can turn to the 1937 classic – How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.


Over the years of speaking with and listening to some of the country’s top leaders, we’ve discovered 3 critical areas where success as a leader is paramount: being likeable, convincing others to accept your way of thinking, and providing high quality feedback.


Here are 27 secrets that leaders should learn if they want to be effective and successful in running a team or organisation.



Social influence and likeability are all about cultivating trust and meaningful engagement. Learn how you can grow your influence and motivate people to succeed from Australia’s most inspirational leaders. Reserve your spot for The Authentic Leadership Summit 2020.


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.


The Empowered Woman 2020


7 Mental Tips to Stay Motivated and Achieve More in 2020

7 Mental Tips to Stay Motivated and Achieve More in 2020

As the year closes, it’s good to take stock of what we have set out to accomplish. Whether it’s trying to lose weight, learning a new skill or starting a big and audacious initiative at work, how would you score your performance in 2019? How far did you get on with your resolutions and goals?  

If you checked everything off your list, well done you high-achieving individual!   

But if you somehow failed in reaching an attainable goal because of self-doubt, procrastination or lack of “stick-to-itiveness”, then these 7 Mental Tips to Stay Motivated and Achieve More in 2020 might be just what you need! 


1. Make S.M.A.R.T. goals  

Generally, S.M.A.R.T. goals (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, Time-based) are more attainable than abstract ambitions, for example – “sign up at least 10 new customers a month”, or walk 10,000 steps daily” have a higher probability of success than “increase sales or lose weight”. 


2. Begin with the end in mind 

Hold the vision of the outcome in your head and then work backwards to layout the steps necessary to complete it. This mindset will help you plan strategically through any kind of mission. 


3. Do the heavy lifting at the start 

Setting up systems and processes is a lot of work but investing in it will eliminate drudgery and optimise your efforts in the long run. For example – cooks who get their mise en place right (a culinary process in which ingredients are prepared and organised before the actual cooking) produce more quality meals in the least amount of time.  


4. Celebrate small wins 

Research has found that giving yourself a pat on the back for completing even the smallest of tasks is self-motivating. Once you’ve acknowledged that you’re making headway on your goals, you are more likely to increase your efforts and work smarter and faster to achieve them. 


5. Focus on the other stakeholders 

What can lift you out of a slump is shifting focus toward people who also stand to win or lose from your success or failure. If you have children, for example, thinking about their future will motivate you to stay healthy. In business, thinking about how you’re making your customer’s life better will fuel you to achieve greater. 


6. Make it fun 

The reality is that work can be tedious and difficult at times. The trick is to focus on the elements that you find enjoyable. For example  updating the CRM for most salespeople is an awful chore. One way to make mind-numbing data entry fun is by racing with coworker – seeing who can get the most done in an hour. 


7. Seek out the A Players – highly motivated achievers 

To be successful, align yourself with the A players in your organisation. Being part of the A Team is highly motivating – model yourself after them and seek their advice. Ask them about what they are working on and offer help. Real A players are naturally generous and would love any opportunity to teach. 


Deepdive into learning the strategies of high-achieving professionals. Sign up for any of our Training and Events in 2020!  


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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

How to Inspire a Harmonious Work Culture

How to create a harmonious team culture

What distinguishes leaders who do well in cultivating a healthy work culture from those who don’t?

Leaders who value authenticity promote a high-level of cooperation and interdependence among teams. They foster a safe and friendly work vibe where employees look out for one another out of genuine concern.

Does that sound too good to be true? How does being authentic create such a harmonious culture?

To help define authentic leadership in the context of a healthy and supportive team culture, see the checklist of behaviours below and assess where you sit.

Leadership Behaviours Checklist

Still unclear where your leadership style and behaviour land? Learn what it takes to create an awesome team culture from leaders with proven success in leading with authenticity. Sign up for the Authentic Leadership Summit 2020.


Authentic Leadership Summit 2020 - March 17 to 20


Empower Your Team to Work and Learn at the Same Time in 2020

Empower Your Team to Work and Learn at the Same Time in 2020

With the Fourth Industrial Revolution upon us, the game for people managers is no longer about how to make teams perform with their current skills but how quickly can they pickup new ones and stay ahead of disruption. 

Premium talent is now characterised by intellectual curiosity and the capacity for rapid learning. Your team’s current technical knowledge and competencies are now less important than their ability to quickly shift their thinking and switch on new skills and abilities.  

Thankfully, it’s possible to make learning a part of work. In fact, Fortune 500 companies lke Google, American Express, and Bridgewater Associates imbed learning in their work culture. Their teams understand that learning is an important part of their job. 


Here are 5 Steps to start a learning program in your team and get work done at the same time 

Step 1 – Identify the skills that you need to have in your team

What are the most important knowledge, skills, competencies and attributes to have in your team for your business to thrive in the future? To give you an example, Esme Borgelt, MD of Kellog’s identifies “salesmanship” as important skill for everyone at the iconic cereal giant to develop. For Esme, everyone at Kellog’s is in sales — “We are all focused on delivering the same outcome, which is generating more sales. I think that is what makes Kellogg’s such a special place.”

We recommend choosing only one skill per quarter per team member. Make it meaty and challenging — a WIG (Wildly Important Goal) for Learning! For example, here are some highly coveted, future proofing skills – data storytelling, public speaking, strategic thinking, innovation and design thinking. 


Step 2 – Allocate time for focused learning 

You need to schedule spare moments for your team to focus on learning. For example, some companies mandate that 20% of the workweek (Fridays) must be dedicated for training. Empower your team to organize their weekly learning activities and source their own course content. Just make sure to offer support and regularly check up on their progress. 


Step 3 – Set progressive goals 

Once you’ve identified the skills and the time allocation for learning, help your team break down their courses into small but meaningful weekly outcomes. Begin with the end goal in mind, for example, a keynote presentation on data storytelling techniques by the end of the quarter – then work backwards to plot learning wins every week. Make this a whole team effort by having members check up on each other’s progress thus having all of them be accountable for everyone’s learning success.


Step 4 – Set up a feedback mechanism 

Engaging the whole team in the learning journey will help boost progress. Encourage them to share with each other what they are working on and exchange feedback. As the team manager, lead the moderation of this feedback exercise by giving notes for improvement and action points to accelerate the learning process.  


Step 5 – Test for Retention  

By having your team repeat back to you what they have learned, tests their ability to understand and retain information. Asking more reflective questions like “How significant is this course to the performance of your role?” or “What do you think are the implications of your newfound skills to the overall performance of the business?” helps confirm contextual understanding of the material.


According to the World Economic Forum, everyone will need an extra 101 Days of Learning a year to stay ahead of disruption. Ask us how we can help upskill your team and enable them to rise to future challenges with our exceptional lineup of training and events. 

view all our learning events and training courses

Related blogs on Learning: 

Why All Leaders Need to Engage in Microlearning
Four Ways to Supercharge Your Professional Development 



NETWORKING – Actionable Strategies from Women in Leadership

Last September, over 35 female leaders took to the stage to inspire hundreds of women in attendance for our Women in Leadership Summit 2019. Each one of our speakers shared not only success stories but fully revealed how they struggled and failed in their journey. Overall, the event was a success because women, and a few good men, came together for the same purpose – to lift each other by bringing their most generous and authentic selves to the summit. 


We had a post-event chat with some of our speakers and asked if they have any reaction to the so-called “boys club mentality” in business. The way they responded to this loaded and controversial question was brilliant!  


Instead of jumping on the issue of gender bias, they gave fantastic and actionable advice on networking and collaborating. And if there is one thing that you can take away from the Women In Leadership Summit or any professional gathering for women going forward is, and we could not stress this enough — start to cultivate strong female networks at these events.  


Here are some great networking strategies from two of our 2019 Women In Leadership Summit speakers. 



Create your own club! I have no time for that (boys club) nonsense.

Create your own culture and surround yourself with people who don’t play in the closed ranks.  


Reach out to every person in like-minded businesses.

Think of who can give you ideas or help to refine your own. Word of mouth is the most underrated tool for all businesses.  


Share your thoughts and ideas in the spirit of collaborating.

Lifting each other up creates a village of like-minded mentors and peers that will be invaluable over the life of your career. 



Know yourself, what you offer and where your strengths and weaknesses are. And get wise to what makes people tick.  

There will always be some people who fail to recognise the value that women bring to an organisation. You’re not going to change them, that’s decades of privilege that is difficult to unwind, but you should work out how to work with them. Once you’re doing that, it’s your responsibility to turn around and bring more women up with you. It’s time to refresh the club membership!  


Seek out mentors and sponsors, surround yourself with people whose advice you trust.  

Often the belief someone shows in you to succeed is enough of a motivator to do so. There’s a saying “it takes a village to raise a child”, the same goes in business. We are nothing without those who believe in us and help us along the way.  


Rely on the people you know have your best interest at heart. 

You don’t need many, but you need to be open to feedback and accept they are coming from a good place. I have a number of these confidants who I can tap into depending on the situation. They mentor me, and I mentor them. It’s informal but very powerful.  



There’s plenty of opportunity to be gained from attending our events aside from the lessons that you can apply in your professional life. And the best one of all is building a solid network of awesome and inspirational women.

Attend our next event and meet Australia’s most inspiring businesswomen at The Empowered Woman 2020! 

Check out the exceptional speaker lineup of disruptive women entrepreneurs and high-level executives.  

The Empowered Woman 2020

Related Blog – 

Rewriting The Playbook – Meet Australia’s Power Business Women 

Authentic Leadership Summit 2020 — Sign up for Intensive Executive Workshops on 17 & 20 March

A key factor that drives the success of any organisation is its leadership. What makes leadership most impactful is the leaders’ attitude to serve, support and nurture their people. This creates a culture of high performance, which contributes to the growth of the organisation and its people.  

Announcing Authentic Leadership Summit 2020’s highly interactive deep-dive sessions with premier executive coaches. 

The Authentic Leadership Summit 2020 (17-20 March, Sydney) is a 4-Day gathering of Australia’s top CEOs and MDs who will help you develop authenticity, openness, and trust to lead successfully. 

Get the full information on Authentic Leadership Summit 2020. 



After becoming one of QANTAS’s youngest female marketing executives, Ellenor spent 20+ years as an Emmy and AACTA award-winning film producer, and CEO-Founder of her production company. She delivers coaching sessions on management up-skilling, career progression, and communication mastery. 


In this half-day workshop, Ellenor will guide you along a simple but in-depth path to identify your values, lead with a higher purpose, and build high-performing teams. By the end of this workshop, you will learn how to — 


  1. Identify the organisational values of environments where you thrive 
  2. Act on your values and use them to make difficult decisions as a leader 
  3. Determine the links between your greatest career milestones and job satisfaction 



Author of the Amazon best-seller A Servant’s Heart- Leadership That Inspires and recipient of the 100 Top Training and Development Minds Global Award, Arpan is on a mission to inspire and empower 20,000 or more leaders by 2020 so that they create a culture of innovation, excellence and collaboration. 


Arpan’s session is about how to institute the values of Servant Leadership to address problems such as lack of engagement, low productivity, customer dissatisfaction and staff turnover. Learn the proven strategies to — 


  1. Boost your credibility as a leader to become a trusted advisor  
  2. Remove blind spots that hinder your effectiveness as a leader 
  3. Apply the servant leadership principles to everyday scenarios  



Oliver brings 20 years of research experience from prior roles at AMR (Australia) and Harris Interactive (New York and Sydney). One of Australia’s leading experts in reputation measurement and managementOliver is a member of the Australian Market and Social Research Society and has served the Board of Moriah College.  


The Reputation Institute has recently published research showing that while previously leaders were judged by the community on their capability, there has been a shift to the public regarding a successful leader as one that shows good character. In this half-day workshop, you will learn how you can steer the reputation of your organisation  by — 


  1. Understanding key reputation drivers and trends in the Australian and global markets 
  2. Defining Reputation Measurement and KPIs and how companies are using those  
  3. Building reputation for B2B companies and the link to social license


After a successful career leading high-performance teams in the investment industry, Phil set up his own business, guiding people, projects, and partnerships through collaborative challenges. He has worked the big stages and boardrooms, including basketball courts and the back of Bourke (literally). So be warned, you are in for a highly interactive and engaging session with Phil. 


Learn how to create a culture of collaboration in your workplace by shifting mindsets, building a positive and psychologically safe environment, and connecting your people’s work with tangible outcomes. Other learning outcomes from this session — 


  1. Shift from hierarchical to collaboration-based structures 
  2. Unpack and resolve the challenges of working together 
  3. Adopt a 7-step process for maximising group success 


Check out the Authentic Leadership Summit’s Key Speaker Lineup for March 18 and March 19 

RESERVE YOUR SPOT for Authentic Leadership Summit 2020 Workshop Sessions.

Authentic Leadership Summit 2020: Day 2, March 19 Speaker Lineup

Learn purposeful and meaningful leadership from Australia’s top CEOs and MDs 

Now more than ever, companies are judged by the strength of their reputation and character. Business leaders are challenged to go beyond performance and aim to achieve a higher level of trust to win customers and attract and retain the best talent. 


The Authentic Leadership Summit 2020 (17-20 March, Sydney) is a 4-Day gathering of Australia’s top CEOs and MDs who will help you develop authenticity, openness, and trust to lead successfully.

Presenting the impressive key speaker lineup for Day 2, March 19. 

“Failure has been my best friend as a writer. It tests you to see if you have what it takes to see it through.” Join Markus for a rare insight into his creative process, particularly his thoughts on failure, and the universal insights that we can derive from it.  

Visionary leadership requires asking the right questions of the right people to make sure that they support you on your mission. In this keynote, Steven will examine the importance of strong communication in the execution of organisational strategy and revenue growth.  

The modus operandi that has driven Katrina’s rise is the refusal to get bored in a role and to seek and accept new challenges actively. Her session will focus on how all leaders need to say yes to opportunities for growth, even when they may be outside your comfort zone.  

KFC is built on a rock-solid culture and on the strength of its brand to carry the same energy and ethos globally. Roger Eaton joins us to explain how authentic leadership drove the organisation from strength to strength.   

Tom Rogers has been a leader and an advocate for leadership education his entire career. Having been appointed recently for another five-year term as Commissioner of the AEC he continues to lead the organisation to deliver the Australian citizen’s right to vote. 

Under Scott’s leadership, Sunsuper grew from $24B with 1M members in 2014 to over $72B and 1.4M members under management to-date. In his session, Scott will outline how to cultivate authentic organisational values to drive reputation and company performance.  

Carlton United Breweries has seen a series of ownership and market changes, not to mention the changing tastes of the Australian public. Peter will talk about how a strong culture can weather uncertainty in corporate activity and market forces.


If you’ve ever worked for a successful start-up, you’d know that it involves wearing many hats and fast-paced growth and ensuring that your people are supported to thrive in this environment. Karen joins us to show you how you can deliver great results by helping others reach their true potential.  

Previously the President of BMW Group India, where he continues to serve as chair, Vikram will outline strategies gleaned from his years of experience to ensure your people are supported and empowered to succeed. 


Check out Day 1, March 18 Speaker Lineup


First-in Tickets are on sale now. Reserve your spot today. 

Get the full information on the Authentic Leadership Summit 2020.