Recovering from failure, at some point in our careers, we all fail. It is how we recover from that failure that differentiates us. Failure is hard, it is ego shattering and very painful. But as Robert Kanaat writes; “failure, as much as it hurts, is a necessary evil. Failure, and the resultant pain it causes, helps to shape and mold us, tailoring a platform for future success. It doesn’t feel like something that’s beneficial at all when we’re going through it, but that failure is, in fact, a prerequisite for success.”  The first step to dealing with any failure is to fix it yourself – don’t leave the clean up to anyone else, help the team recover and find solutions to move forward. Secondly apologise quickly, own the issue by taking responsibility and having a clear plan for resolution. Thirdly move on by focusing and managing your emotions. Virginia Villari writesContinue Reading

Anyone with leadership aspirations will consider the question ‘Am I Talent’ as they progress in their career. And while it is not purely a question for leaders the nature of the question is directly related to subjective nature of how others consider and measure your performance. As a subject matter expert, with specialist skills, experience and credentials it is quite clear the basis of how you are recruited or retained in a role. In sales roles, results speak for themselves and the salesperson who does not hit targets knows exactly why they are underperforming. So for leaders and aspiring leaders how do you know if you have what it takes? How do you know – ‘am I talent?’ or if I am High Potential… High Potential Firstly a caveat – you can be extremely talented and not on your organisations top talent list (sometimes referred to as High Potential orContinue Reading

The art of asking inquiring, challenging, powerful questions is one of the most fundamental differentiators of leadership. They challenge our basic assumptions and create awareness of patterns and connections. Powerful questions explore intentions, values, convictions, hopes, ambitions and possibilities. The quality of the questions you ask not only demonstrates an openness and curiosity for learning, a thirst for knowledge and an interest in the subject. It can also unpack the underlying drivers of situation build rapport, expose vulnerabilities or risks and identify creative opportunities. As we get older we tend to limit our view of the world we know, we blinker the areas of skill, experience, knowledge and subject matter expertise and tend to ignore, block or avoid areas we know little about. The more curious and inquiring approach that children use to learn is the same characteristic seen with genius minds able to consider much bigger questions. So whatContinue Reading

When organisations make large cost cutting initiatives traditionally the number of women being reduced is significantly higher than the number of men. The Australian Bureau of Statistics identified that women in Victoria lost jobs at four times the rate of men in July. If this proportion of job loss continues to skew against women we will face a gender disaster. We’ve got job losses at nearly five times the rate of men, and those women are not going to be able to return to work easily. Tanja Kovac, GenVic McKinsey have calculated that women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable than men’s jobs. Women make up 39% of global employment but equate to 54% of overall job losses. One of the main reasons is that the virus has placed a significant increase in the burden of unpaid care which is largely carried out by women. The global impact of this biasContinue Reading

Employer Values – When you look for the right job match you often consider the culture fit, but what about the value fit? An emerging term for recruitment organisations is Employee Value Proposition which captures more fully that total fit between what you stand for and what the organisation represents. Culture determines how work gets done, but values sets how a companies makes decisions, establishes priorities and represents deeper ethical qualities. “Ensuring that a company shares your values from the outset is a threefold process: First, you need to identify your own core values; next, ask the right questions during the interview process; and finally, conduct your own assessment to see if your values match those of the organization.” Kristi Hedges Divergent values may be minor and irritating such as an organisation that accepts meetings starting late if you value punctuality. Or the divergence could be more serious where yourContinue Reading

How to manage anxiety – The pandemic, recession and uncertainty has increased the level of stress and anxiety most people are feeling. Anxiety is fed watered and sustained by the presence of fear, it is such a negative and primal emotion. Designed to keep us safe it can overwhelm our thoughts and emotions. “Anxiety is created when you move into the unknown because your fear response is on high alert. Has your fear produced anxiety because there’s a genuine risk? Or has the fear produced anxiety and panic because you’ve moved into your discomfort zone?“ 1. Stop it at the beginning Fear can trigger physical responses like a racing pulse, high blood pressure or a cold sweat, or it can trigger an emotional response like aggression. Many people are more comfortable with anger over anxiety so they choose it as a way to alleviate the pressure. The problem is behaviourContinue Reading

Professional Networks can make the difference of an individuals potential to be successful. How connected you are helps define your ability to leverage collective knowledge and collective problem solving. It introduces you to new ideas, new places, new opportunities. After establishing the importance of professional networking, what actually is it? “It is a deliberate activity to build, reinforce and maintain relationships of trust with other people to further your goals” (Anders Ostland). Ibarra & Hunter (HBR, 2007) wrote that there are three forms of networking: Operational, Personal and Strategic. Operational – helps manage internal company responsibilities. Personal – builds individual personal and professional development. Strategic – plays a vital role in identifying opportunities for growth and engaging stakeholders Building strong relationships across your professional networks establishes an advocacy, in the words of Jon Burgess founder of Kwan “ADVOCACY is an authentic and purposeful way to live your life and do business…Continue Reading

Imposter Syndrome

Impostor syndrome—the idea that you’ve only succeeded due to luck, and not because of your talent or qualifications has been around for quite a while, it was first identified in 1978 by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes. Its is a common scenario that many very successful leaders face, feeling like a fraud in their role. Mike Cannon Brookes (Jnr) co-founder of Atlassian talks extensively about how he felt an imposter in his Ted presentation in 2018 and he is now worth billions. He also wrote about it on the company blog how he felt like a fraud including how he used the “Fake it till you make it playbook” including a personal story about how he used it to meet his wife. Melissa Ben-Ishay was 24 when she lost her advertising job at the beginning of the 2008 recession. She turned her passion (baking cupcakes) into her purposeContinue Reading

’70 is the new 30′ it does seem hard to believe that we have the ability to out perform a peer 40 years our junior, but that is what a recent survey from Finland recently established. They found that the physical and cognitive health of adults today is significantly better than it was 30 years ago. Positive changes in nutrition, healthcare, education and an improved working life have contributed to superior functionality (according to the research). “the most important underlying factor behind the cohort differences in cognitive performance was longer education.” Kaisa Koivunen (researcher) According to author Daniel Levitin (Author of The Changing Mind: A Neuroscientists Guide to Ageing) its not that 70 or 80 year olds are the same as 30 year olds physically but mentally the older person has distinct advantages including impulse control, ability to get along with others and structured decision making Many of us believeContinue Reading


This article looks at some sage advice from Ruth Bader Ginsburg, about knowing when to be ‘a little deaf’ and how it can help any professional career. “In every good marriage, it helps sometimes to be a little deaf. I have followed that advice assiduously, and not only at home through 56 years of a marital partnership nonpareil. I have employed it as well in every workplace, including the Supreme Court. When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken, best tune out. Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.” Ruth Bader Ginsburg Being a little deaf to thoughtless and unkind words is essential to having. successful and fulfilling career. It is the basis of being able to accept constructive criticism and not letting poorly considered comments impact your emotions. The author has been running a survey into how resilient people are which found that lessContinue Reading