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Book Quotes Career planning Leadership

What is your legacy?

What is your legacy? A decade ago we lost three friends in their 30s in the space of 6 months. That loss combined with mid-life crisis sent my husband Andy, dog Harvey the basset hound and the adventure of a lifetime.

We left our jobs and travelled Europe in a Rapido 7 meter luxury Motorhome. We had no idea as we pulled off our driveway where we were going or for how long, but what we did know was that there is more to life than what we were experiencing at that time.

We travelled to France and spent months in all the regions down the west coast, highlights being Normandy and Bordeaux, we travelled across the plains of Spain, San Sebastian, Salamanca  and  into Portugal, stayed in the Estrela mountains, and the ancient cities of Beja and Evora, spent months in the Algarve over winter before heading off to Italy.  The destination driven by the weather and living off the rent of the house meant budget camping on beaches which you can do in many places around southern Europe over Autumn and winter.

It took 3 months to truly unwind from the stresses of life, but when we did life was far more richer, as you  had time to smell the roses, explore, spend hours in the markets, learning languages, reading, speaking to people. Being present and totally living in the moment. What we experienced and learned about life was transformational.

We met the grey nomads, there were many from many countries, people that had travelled for decades following the fruit picking seasons. The Dutch travellers are the best, a couple we met south of Bordeaux in Mimizan on the coast, each winter they take their motor-home and a menagerie of animals including a budgie and live on the beach. There was a Dutch professor from Utah and his wife that escape the winter to San Vito Lo Capo in northern Sicily.. too many stories and so many magic moments.

When  you have all the time in the world, you start reflecting on your life and what you want from life. It From Aging to Sagingwas these moments that prompted me to read Aging to Saging a non religious book written by a Rabbi https://www.amazon.com/Age-ing-Sage-ing-Revolutionary-Approach-Growing/dp/0446671770, the exercises made me think about my future years and what I wanted from life. Looking at life backwards I understood, that although I loved my travels I need a purpose in life.

I always loved being in business, the people, customers, strategy and learning something new about people and my self every day.  I missed it, I only have to look at my dad who started a business at 50 and is now 70 and has a great balance of work and life as he loves getting away in the motor-home as my husband and I left it for my parents when we moved to Australia.

As the months of travelling unfolded the mist cleared and a plan emerged. We no longer wanted to live in England the weather was depressing and we needed to experience something new.  Although living in a motor-home for a year was fun we missed the luxuries in life, the experiences made us appreciate what we had a whole lot more when we returned to living in a home.

We all want to help others, it is in our blood, so what became clear is I wanted to help others to enjoy success and live a balanced life.  Through my work as a business leader I had the opportunity to embrace both. When I returned to the UK, we had the opportunity to move to Australia with the company I ran before we travelled, Andy and I jumped at the opportunity to live in Sydney. My legacy is all about others realising the potential  of others and creating a good life/work balance.

What is your legacy?

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Career Change Career planning Leadership

Career planning: Where are you going? What do you want from your career?

For many people not knowing what they want to be when they grow up stays with them most of their life. Women in particular find it difficult as they are waiting to be selected for their next role based on other people’s views of what they are good at,  rather than being clear about what they want. This becomes the greatest obstacle for success and greatest source of frustration and disappointment.

I was in this situation 4 years ago and breaking a habit of a lifetime of saying No to roles that don’t fit your career brief criteria is really hard.  My third start-up was behind me and I knew I had to stretch myself in a new way and my eyes were firmly set on a corporate role, yet the first five opportunities I was offered were all tech start-ups for US corporates wanted to set up operations in Australia. It was so tempting, as it was what I knew, thank goodness for Phil Crenigan my business coach who kept me focused and challenged me when he had a sniff that I was even entertaining any start-up opportunities.   I am forever grateful for his council on being clear before looking about your next move, and saying No so that when the right opportunity emerged I was ready.

In contrast having a career plan for the next 10, 20 years even if it changes allows you to plan and prepare for your next move. It also allows you to socialize with your peers, mentors, sponsors and executives and gain their input and thoughts on the best options for your future and open up projects that give you exposure where you need it.

I enjoy being on boards of tech start-ups and the businesses I have run over the last 20 years, so I am looking to become a non exec director on ASX boards in the next 10 years. To achieve this I need to be a Senior leader in an ASX business. I spoke to many Senior leaders who were doing the role I am looking to do and all advised me the following: women leave exec leadership too early, you need to remain in exec leadership in ASX businesses until your 60. Many leave in their early 50s and have insufficient experience at a senior level. When asking about education all recommended the AICD course as a must.  Seeking advice of people doing what the role you aspire too is essential for preparing for success.

Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now. Alan Lakein

 Where are you going? What do you want from your career?

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Career Change Career planning Coaching Leadership Legacy Mentoring Networking Personal development

Help your team realise their dreams

There is a lot of discussion on finding work in what you love doing, is it a good thing or not?

I have had the privilege of working with Jane Ron and John (names changed) all had a passion and it was not what they were doing as a job.

John was a cloud specialist and well regarded by his peers and customers. Every hour outside work was spent filming and editing music videos. When I had my 1;1 s I would ask him how the videos were going and his eyes would light up. One day I said to him, I don’t want to lose you, but I sense you are not fulfilled by your role. John said I would love to make the filming and editing full time, but I am scared of giving up my job.  I said what if you could work 3-4 days a week and spend a day on your filming. John was over the moon, this would be perfect, I can see if this works out for me, whilst working in my role.  Within a month John was working 1-2 days a week on his filming business and 6 months late he was full time, doing what he loved.

As a leader there are many lessons here:

  • helping people realise their dreams is leadership
  • this is a true test of Trust between you and your team member, especially if it is not aligned to what they are doing today
  • other employees are inspired by the leadership as it is focused at the heart of any business the people
  • transitioning is easier to manage than someone resigning, you can plan and ensure the transition is seamless.

A few years later Jane worked in one of the sales teams I led and was a Environmentalist to the core. She was in a sales role and successful, but it was not wanted she really wanted to be doing.  In a mentoring session I asked her to bring some of her passions to the role IE getting everyone on board with recyclable coffee cups. She did many side projects but it was not enough to change how she felt. I encouraged to look at a number of organisations where her passion would be fulfilled and introduced her to people I knew in the field. She finally landed her dream job.  I lost a great sales person, but helped someone pursue their passion.   When I read Jane’s post on linked I am so proud of what she achieved and feel good that I was able to assist her on the journey.

Around the same time Ron one of the Sales managers told me he had been doing sales management for over a decade and was looking to the future where he wanted a operational role in the company. I connected Ron with a mentor in Operations, where I thought they would be an excellent fit in terms of personality and temperaments.  A year later Ron secured the role he wanted in  operations. During that time we worked through Ron’s replacement. A 12 month run way is plenty of time to ensure the successor is ready.

Help your team realise their dreams