Best Advice I’ve Ever Been Given

Over the years of my career and personal life to date, I have heard many words of wisdom. From inspiring advice, raw and moving, interesting to whacky, and everything in between. There are two quotes in particular from two incredible Australian businesswomen leaders that has really stuck with me and I now live by, definitely the best advice I’ve ever been given.

“Your children aren’t comparing the amount of time you spend with them to other kids in the playground. Their normal is normal.” – Erica Berchtold, The Iconic

What does this mean to me? Well, as a mother of twins under the age of 5, this one really got me. At our Women in Leadership Summit (WILS) last year, Erica spoke a lot about creating your own normal, and this resonated with me in so many ways.

Stop comparing yourself to other people, create your own narrative and live life your way. I know it’s hard but try not to compare your parenting and the time you have with your children to other parents – you do you. You have to work full time to support your children, you need pay off your mortgage, you want to continue your successful career, whatever it is! Who cares what anyone else thinks.

Quit the guilt! The amount of time you spend with your children is what it is – they don’t know any better, their normal is normal.

Don’t get caught up in the ‘what ifs’ or ‘should haves’, just do what’s best for you and your family. Let’s face it, you’re the only person who has your best interests at heart.

“You have an obligation to other women to support and mentor them, but not just that, to recommend them to others that might help them up.” – Angela Mentis BNZ

What an inspirational lady. Honestly, she says it how it is. She’s right. As a woman in business, you absolutely have that obligation. You need to do your bit to support other women and offer mentorship to bring out the best in them. You need to show up, show your real self, and own it. Lead by example and offer wisdom.

There’s no such thing as having too many mentors. If you know someone who aligns with the values and vision of other female leaders you’re connected with, why not leverage your relationships? You never know, this female leader could relate to situations this individual may be facing, they could learn so much and put learning into action with the right support. A simple introduction could make a huge difference. By doing this, you could play a major part in their future leadership potential!

Now I would love to know, what’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

If you want to learn what it takes to be a leader from Australia’s leading businesswomen, be inspired by personal stories of success and learn from intimate tales of failure – The Empowered Woman is the place to be. To be held in Sydney on 26 March 2020, the inaugural one-day event will feature keynote speakers including Sarah-Jane Clarke, Colleen Calander and Suzy Nicoletti to name a few. Book your tickets now.

Finding your purpose and how to nail it

A new decade brings reflection and new optimism for living authentically, making a real difference in this world, and discovering real purpose.

There’s something special about a new year (and especially a new decade) that inspires people to take action – all in the name of purpose, and I’m all for it, provided there is a solid action plan to make it happen and it’s sustainable, not a momentary burst of enthusiasm.

What many people don’t know is that your purpose is fundamentally linked with values – you can’t truly know your purpose unless you define your values. By knowing your values, you’ll know what makes you truly excited and fulfilled at the end of the day. It makes you prioritise what is ‘important’, rather than just what is ‘urgent’.

Your purpose may be as simple as living and belonging with people who share those values, or it could be driving those values into others or the world.

You may have varying levels of a whole bunch of values, but what are your top values? Think about it, what values drive you to be the best version of yourself and the best leader for your business? What values do you try to instil in your children, or your team? What values make you jump out of bed in the morning, ready to kick goals and take on a new challenge?

This is about you as a human being and what matters most to you. Don’t get me wrong, the process to work out your values does take some time and may not happen overnight, it’s not easy! But don’t worry, it’s totally worth it. Once you know your values, everything will make more sense, and you’ll be able to nail your purpose!

So how do you define your values? Over the years, I have created some really great exercises to define your values:

  • Get a list of value driven words (there are plenty if you Google!) and circle the ones that you think define you
  • Think about a great experience where your actions were great, and it made you really proud – why did it make you proud?
  • Next, think of an experience where the situation was terrible and you or the other person acted poorly – what would you have liked them to do, or what could you have done better?
  • Think about those two situations in relation to the list. If they’re important enough for you, the words that define what matters to you most should be clearer. Trust me, it’s hard to define to two, but try it!

If you already know what you’re about and can put those values into the context of what you do and how you do it, every action should be held against those values. Does this fit into what I value and believe, and is my action living up to that? It makes difficult choices easier, and it takes away that malalignment with things that make you feel uneasy.

On the flip side, if your job does not align with these values – get another one. I have worked in an organisation that went against my values, but it paid handsomely, and it is my life’s biggest regret.

If you’re looking to discover your ‘why’ – your true purpose and values as a leader, join us for the upcoming Authentic Leadership Summit in Sydney from the 17-20 March 2020. Back for its 5th year, keynote speakers include, Ita Buttrose, Larry Marshall, Tim Kelsey and Mike Baird to name a few. Early bird pricing is available only until the 14th February 2020 – book now.

5 ways to be a better leader in 2020

Every year I host 35 leadership summits, present over 500 high profile speakers and educate more than 2500 attendees looking for that golden nugget to become a better leader within their business or organisation.

I truly believe that what got you here, won’t get you there. So, don’t be complacent and think that where you’re at right now is good enough, because sadly that’s when you get left behind. Chase the desire to be best in practice and be open to learning from others to stay ahead of the game.

Leadership isn’t something that you’re born with, it’s a learnt skill that needs constant nurturing and development throughout your life and career. Combine this with the fast paced, technologically advanced world we live in, where there seems a new gadget, app or way of doing things everyday – it can become very overwhelming!

It’s time to get back to the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) way of doing things and put a plan together for your leadership journey in 2020. The key thing is to make sure it’s realistic and something you will stick to for the longer term and not just a temporary thing.

No matter what stage of the leadership journey you’re at, keep it simple with my top five ways to be a better leader in 2020 include:

  1. Create an Executive Toolkit: Start with your values and write them down, this will give you a way to measure yourself against the qualities your ‘ideal leader’. Knowing who you are and what you stand for will assist your team in measuring themselves in a positive way, leading them to feel valued, and as a by-product, even more motivated.
  2. Allocate time: Block out time in your calendar and schedule the events and training sessions you want to attend throughout the year. If you schedule it in advance, you’re more likely to attend and follow through.
  3. Get educated: Book in formal training, internally or externally and make time to attend it. Conferences for straight from the source learning, deconstructed university courses or one day industry focused trainings. Whatever it is, make time for it. Compile a selection of books to read throughout the year, if reading is not your thing – try an audiobook on the way to work. I’d start with my favourite business author Brené Brown and aim for one per month.
  4. Engage a mentor or sponsor: You’d be surprised how many experienced CEOs, entrepreneurs and educators are looking to mentor or sponsor upcoming talent. Simply make a list of the people who inspire you and reach out.
  5. Network: Attend networking events! You should find that a lot of courses and summits include a networking session at the end of the first day. Plan to stay for the duration, and although it’s like speed dating, you never know who you might meet or what opportunity might arise.

We have now released our 2020 calendar of events. Key highlights of the line-up include:

It’s going to be our biggest year yet! Don’t miss a thing – subscribe to our mailing list to receive all of the latest up to date information on the latest relevant training courses, scheduling information, news and offers. Simply scroll to the bottom of our home page and enter your details to subscribe. See you around!

What would I tell 22 year old me

The whole “Dear 22-year-old me” where you write a letter to your younger self is popular because it provides insight and wisdom from the best source possible: yourself!

If I picture myself as a 22-year-old, fresh faced young graduate full of enthusiasm, un-earned confidence in my abilities and ready to take on the world. The realities of the harsh world ‘out there’ not yet affecting my optimism or my bravado. When I think back, I think ‘you’re an idiot’ and, ‘oh sweet pea, some hard lessons are heading your way’.

If I could grab that idiot, shake her and tell her anything, this is what I would say:

  • Don’t waste your time on dead end jobs. Yes, I know there are gap years, and times in between jobs when you are genuinely finding yourself but spending time in a job where you know it is simply not for you and you are not happy is not worth the anxiety. Just remember to show gratitude and exit in a graceful, respectful manner when you resign, and fulfil your last days properly.
  • Invest in yourself – you are your #1 asset. This means do those courses, take the time to sharpen your skills and keep being the employable, engaged person you know yourself to be. And yes, we know this about you already. This is why you are reading this blog post to start with.
  • Be proud of who you are. Be really proud. If you don’t gel with every single person, it’s okay. I’m not saying you fly that freak flag high in a corporate environment, but don’t diminish who you are, either. You are you as a sum total of your life experiences, your values and your beliefs. Be proud you’ve weathered the storms, and here you are.
  • Save 20% of what you earn. This is a big one. You know you need to do this. I know you are “only young once”. But your older self is here to tell you that bills wait for nobody and you can never predict when you might need the cash. You might not want to give up smashed avo and lattes and you don’t have to completely. Just put some coin aside for the just-in-case. There is no self-respect in borrowing from the bank of mum and dad.
  • If you back yourself, you can achieve more than you think. If you dare to dream, you will likely shock yourself with just how much you can achieve. There are a million Instagram shots of sunsets with clichés on dreams and fulfilment. This is bullsh*t. Dreams don’t achieve results, smart calculated risks do, and they all start with backing yourself. Who knows what you can achieve!

Want to set your 22-year-old self, now residing in a (slightly!) older body on the right work and life path?

If you want your inner 22-year-old to get some advice from some amazing women whose life lessons will change your life, you need to register for the Empowered Woman 2020 is imperative. It’s a one-day experience to ignite your passion for business and success in all its forms – so your 22 (or 32, 42, 52…) year old self have the skills to achieve the dream career.

During this event you will be inspired by personal stories of success, learn from intimate tales of failure, harness your ambition to make it happen. As you know, purpose alone is not enough. Once you’ve found it, The Empowered Woman will give you the tools to realise your ambitions.

For more information, go here.