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Get on Board - Make Your Mark!

First published in IoD Magazine, May/June 2017


At the IOD Women’s Leadership Conference, we heard from 4 women panelists, each encouraging us to ‘get on board’. But why bother? What do we have to offer? What prevents us from making our mark?  I summarise below the views and encouragement from the panel on the subject, along with my own musings on the matter.

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Stand up for yourself!

It was great to be back in the buzz, re-connecting with familiar faces and having great conversations with some new connections. The IOD Women’s Leadership Conference, facilitated by the amazingly talented Susan Hayes Culleton, who was funny, engaging and inspiring by equal measure, was a smorgasbord of inspiration.

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Be Big. Be Bold. Be Bright.

Hugs, exclamations, laughter, and chat chat chat! Coffee made, table set. One by one a quick resume of how things have been over the last year. Some highlights, some hardships. Lots of listening, lots of support and lots of love. That was how my day started last Tuesday, when a group of senior women I worked with for 2 years came back together to reflect on the ups and downs of the last year and decide on what’s next for them in their career and in their personal lives.

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Get the monkeys off your back!

Ever heard that phrase “get the monkey off your back?”  When you have that monkey, that problem or irritation, that pure nuisance that just won’t go away? And isn’t it just heaven when someone takes your monkey off your back? What a relief! No more monkey. No more worry.

So consider those people lined up at your door ‘what should I do about this’, ‘what should I do about that’. What do you do? As the senior person in all your wisdom, used to having and dishing out all the answers, do you do your very best to answer each and every question, solve each and every problem? From your team, from IT, from HR…?

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It’s not ‘you’, it’s ‘me’

The classic break-up line, the one that is meant to take away the hurt and shoulder the blame, when actually all along you are thinking ‘it’s not me, it’s you!’

In your working life do you secretly think that others are to blame? How often have you thought ‘these people just aren’t getting the message’ leaving you wondering if they will ever step up?

Well, I have some good news and some bad news.

The bad news is it does start with YOU!

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