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From doing it all … to not!

From doing it all … to not!

When you cast your mind back to when you first stepped into a leadership role, it’s possible you remember the feelings of excitement and pride, mixed with fear and trepidation.   

What’s required to excel as an effective team member is different to what’s required of us as a leader.  It involves a massive behavioural shift which, according to the tenets of Emotional Intelligence, also requires a corresponding shift in self-perception and identity.  

So much of what we ‘do’ is tied up in how we see ourselves.   

Making the shift to seeing ourselves as a valuable leader can sometimes be difficult for women who’ve held the busy label for many years. However, in leadership, and in life in general, busy is the highway to burnout. No thanks!   

The shift in activity that comes with a leadership role, from doing to leading, can feel seismic, especially for those women who have made a career out of being known as the woman who gets things done. This reminds me of that infuriating quote/meme:  

‘If you want something done, ask a busy woman.’  

It’s such a patronising, manipulative ethos designed to simultaneously stroke a woman’s ego and leave her in the lurch of taking on the heavy lifting. At the risk of repeating myself, no thanks times infinity!  

While it’s not necessarily easy for a woman to step away from doing it all, it’s not impossible.  

In fact, it’s one of the most remarked upon outcomes of my work with mid-career women. Once they stop doing the busy, out of leadership scope work, women have the space and the capacity to tackle – and embrace – their leadership role of thinking, driving, leading and (depending on their leadership style) serving aspects. They can be visionary and strategic. They can guide rather than do.  

By definition, leadership is about thinking. The traits of good leadership are almost all conceptual rather than activity based. It’s analysis, facilitative thinking, enabling, communicating and decision making, generating and bringing to life opportunities. Deep, strategic, critical thinking, not (necessarily) the execution or the doing. A big picture perspective becomes essential to this process.  

In ‘busy’ doing work we can’t see the big picture. We’re stuck in getting sh*t done mode, ticking through the list. The result is a disproportionate workload that makes us feel like rubbish. It also leads to disengagement, stress and potentially even burnout.  

Getting caught up in the busy work often means we’re doing work that’s not taking advantage of our capabilities nor our potential. It’s often soul destroying and erodes self confidence.  

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should!  

When we spend time after hours and on weekends doing the ‘stuff’ that didn’t get completed in business hours we erode our boundaries which are designed to protect us.  

A side note: so many times I see ‘taking one for the team’ accompanying this ‘doing’ mode of operandi. This does us no favours and is a massive breach of our boundaries.  

Want an example?  

Picture a meeting room, and someone says ‘who wants to take the minutes?’ Of course, no-one wants to take the minutes. Who would? There’s a few moments of uncomfortable silence and then a woman raises her hand. So instead of contributing her expertise, experience and smarts to the discussion as a leader, she’s recording it.  

I think it’s important to note that this type of behaviour, ie not having allocated roles for meetings ahead of time, is really symptomatic of a poor organisational culture, but it doesn’t change the fact that rather than step into her leadership, a woman has relegated herself down the ladder. Sadly, this isn’t an isolated incident across the many, many women I’ve worked with.  

On this – as a leader you have an obligation to be a good role model. We all know that there’s gender inequality in the workplace. Statistically, women are more likely to put their hand up to volunteer for work that won’t progress their career.  What message are you sending the young women sitting around the table?  

When you don’t automatically volunteer to take on the “housekeeping” jobs you are role modeling for the young women at the table that they don’t always have to either.  And you never know…  you may just allow space for a bloke to put his hand up. 

So, how to make this transition from doing it all to not? 

We could ask the workplace to step up – ha!   

Change is always more embedded with long term stickiness when it’s self-directed.  

I’m a big proponent of what gets measured gets managed. Have you ever tried time tracking? It’s illuminating. You can’t argue with data that tells you exactly how much of your working day is spent involved in tasks that have no bearing on your leadership.  

Start with building better boundaries  

Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. These are not flippy floppy boundaries – but boundaries protected with barbed wire!  Without barbed wire boundaries, there’s simply no time or space to effectively lead. Enough said.  

Boundaries in place? Great! Now we enforce them.  

Don’t be the first to ‘just get on with it’ or volunteer to do something just because nobody else is stepping up. Either delegate if that’s within your remit or politely decline.  

This applies to your personal life too. I was recently chatting to someone who was having a mini-grumble about a friend cancelling a lunch because they had to dole out basketball uniforms for their local community club. Here’s the kicker – the uniform coordinator’s kids had long stopped playing yet she was still stuck in that role! 

And now for a word on delegation.  

It’s an art and a science in itself, or it could be. Allocate the task, check understanding and then let people do their jobs! Clear communication of your expectations is key. Clarity will get the best and the most out of your team and will help them stay on track and focused on delivering your strategy or vision. 

This brings me to the concept of trust.  

Trust your team, allow people to get on with it, scaffolded by your clearly communicated expectations.  

Being helpful, useful and reliable – focused on doing the do may have supported your career progression up to this point.  But sadly, from this point forward it’s going to hold you back.   

As a leader you need to move from the role of do-er/implementer and shift your focus to be one of leading others to do that execution.  

Leadership is about enabling, and at the core? It’s a conscious decision on how you want to show up as a leader. This is not something you need to explore alone – let’s have a conversation about how I can be of support as you transition from a reliable doer to an exceptional leader.  

 

 

 

 

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My story, amplified

So, how did I come to be a women’s leadership coach?  

Like all good stories, the journey wasn’t all smooth sailing. I help women dig deep from a place not just of expertise but also from experience. I’ve felt that sense of career frustration and resentment. Let me tell you my story… 

Jane Benston

What the Queen taught me about…

As I sat on the couch this week watching the Queens funeral, I was transfixed by the pomp and ceremony of it all. There’s no doubt the Pom’s know how to create a sense of occasion.

Here we were, witnessing history.

Jane Benston

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

You’re sitting in the car park at work with a splitting headache and with that sinking feeling of here we go again. The 3 coffees you’ve downed already to give you a bit of an energetic lift haven’t helped; in fact, you feel more than a little shaky. Your phone has lit up like a Christmas tree with fires you’re expected to put out, yet all you want to do is book a room at the nearest hotel, close the blinds and sleep for days.

Jane Benston

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

My story, amplified

Jane-Benston-Programs

My story, amplified

Over a decade ago I launched my consultancy, Jane Benston, delivering leadership coaching to women in mid-career roles looking to step up the corporate ladder without burning out or selling their soul, two critical caveats to success in my world view! So, how did I come to be a women’s leadership coach?  

Like all good stories, the journey wasn’t all smooth sailing. I help women dig deep from a place not just of expertise but also from experience. I’ve felt that sense of career frustration and resentment. Let me tell you my story… 

My about page shares some of the not-so-pretty details about my own personal career journey and path to my role now as a leadership coach for women. I thought I’d share a bit more of the story of how a girl from a sheep and cattle farm in central Victoria came to be working with incredible women from across Australia achieving remarkable feats in their careers, and more importantly, loving their work.  

I’ve worked extensively as a womens leadership coach, corporate trainer and career strategist since starting my business in 2011. Prior to this, I had over 15 yearsexperience working in corporate leadership. I experienced first hand the impact of strong, female leadership both on the bottom line of a business as well as from a workplace culture perspective. Today, I absolutely love that I continue to play a part in nurturing female leadership.  

My career started as an Occupational Therapist before quickly transitioning to working for 2 incredibly talented strong women in a small but rapidly growing dynamic business, negotiating return to work solutions for injured workers.   

Next came my step into the corporate Health and Safety space.  

For the first fifteen years or so in the workforce I had regular promotions and new opportunities as I followed a path and climbed a somewhat predictable career ladder. I loved my work, I loved making a difference and I really, really loved how easily the pay rises and promotions came my way!  

I was proud of how my income was affording me a wonderful lifestyle – enjoying fabulous holidays and adventures overseas and independently purchasing my first home. My role also included a ton of interstate travel which, again, as a farm girl, never stopped being a ‘pinch me’ moment. My parents also took it as confirmation that their girl had made it! 

As my career progressed, my leadership skills and strong results were recognised more and more. I had incredible mentors and cheerleaders who were in my corner, supporting me, advocating for me and encouraging me.  

As a single woman without children, my work was incredibly important to me and was closely attached to my sense of self. I was fiercely independent, I wanted to make a real difference and I knew I had the skills and expertise to do that.  

Everything was going according to plan, my plan, until it wasn’t. 

Enter a corporate takeover which saw me working in a position and a role that just wasn’t me. It didn’t fit. I didn’t fit. I was that proverbial square peg in a round hole, or to use one of Dad’s favourite farming sayings, I was flogging a dead horse. I lost my mojo, my sense of direction and all belief in my skills. With that loss followed my sense of identity. The result?  My confidence was in tatters. 

Every time I walked through the office doors my heart would sink. It’s a feeling that’s difficult to describe, but one that’s familiar to anyone knowing intrinsically that they’re not where they should be. It was like walking around with a boulder in the pit of my stomach. Happy, fulfilled and engaged at work? I think not!   

Here’s the thing with psychological stress – very rarely does it restrict itself to a mindset issue.  

Hello burnout! 

My health fell apart.  My brain was foggy. My joints ached. My sleep was disturbed, I experienced unexplained dizziness. I’d cry for no good reason. I was EXHAUSTED. Put simply, I felt like crap. All the time.  

I made the difficult decision to put my health first and walk away from my corporate career, saying goodbye to a great salary and job security. With my confidence already shot, it was incredibly scary to make that move, but I knew I needed to make a change. I also knew I didn’t want to make that change alone.  

My first step was to find a coach to guide me through this huge transition. I didnt want to just survive, I wanted to thriveand I knew I was going to have to bare my soul, so the coach had to be someone that could give me a safe space. 

The coaching process led me to the world of self-development. I was fascinated by the amazing world of neuroscience, and I invested a ton into my own personal development. I buried myself in every book and course I could find, as well as throwing myself into learning about human behaviour and the importance of empowered feminine leadership.  

I learnt the secret code for controlling the inner critic and boosting confidence. I discovered simple language structures for becoming an influential communicator and recognising behaviours that get in the way of success. I applied everything I learnt to myself and in response? Everything changed. 

Investing in myself paid off, big time, across all measures 

I was happier, healthier and more fulfilled than I had been in years. I found more confidence, more clarity and more direction than ever before. I loved the person I was becoming and, for the first time ever, I believed with absolute certainty that I could achieve anything I wanted. 

Fast forward to todayand not only am I reaching all my goals, Im helping other women to do the same.  

My corporate experience is backed up with qualifications in behaviour profiling, executive coaching and neuroscience. My approach is fresh, warm and energetic, and I believe in making every coaching experience fun and transformational. Ive worked with some of the biggest names and brightest minds in Australian business, and helped hundreds of women to believe in themselves, to find their perfect next role and to lead in a way that’s congruent with who they are. 

I love helping driven women unlock their limitless potential both personally and professionally – and Ive dedicated my career to doing just that. I work with women to get the results they deserve. I’m rarely without fresh flowers on my desk, a candle nearby and a glass of bubbles on hand for when women bring their aspirations to life.  

To find out more about working with me, please reach out

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Similar Blog Posts

From doing it all … to…

When you cast your mind back to when you first stepped into a leadership role, it’s possible you remember the feelings of excitement and pride, mixed with fear and trepidation.

What’s required to excel as an effective team member is different to what’s required of us as a leader. It involves a massive behavioural shift which, according to the tenets of Emotional Intelligence, also requires a corresponding shift in self-perception and identity

Jane Benston

What the Queen taught me about…

As I sat on the couch this week watching the Queens funeral, I was transfixed by the pomp and ceremony of it all. There’s no doubt the Pom’s know how to create a sense of occasion.

Here we were, witnessing history.

Jane Benston

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

You’re sitting in the car park at work with a splitting headache and with that sinking feeling of here we go again. The 3 coffees you’ve downed already to give you a bit of an energetic lift haven’t helped; in fact, you feel more than a little shaky. Your phone has lit up like a Christmas tree with fires you’re expected to put out, yet all you want to do is book a room at the nearest hotel, close the blinds and sleep for days.

Jane Benston

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

What the Queen taught me about unconscious bias

What The Queen Taught Me About Unconscious Bias

 

As I sat on the couch this week watching the Queens funeral, I was transfixed by the pomp and ceremony of it all.  There’s no doubt the Pom’s know how to create a sense of occasion.  

Here we were, witnessing history.   

This is going to be one of those moments we will talk about in years to come and ask, “where were you when you heard the Queen had died?”   

I will always remember the gorgeous Airbnb in Brunswick Heads in Northern NSW – because just like when the twin towers came down… I was on holidays. 

How about you?  Where were you when you learnt the Queen had died?  

I will also remember my surprise at the degree of sadness and loss I’ve felt. 

Not just for the 70 years of this amazing woman’s life of leadership and service – but also for the pure fact that here was a woman ahead of her time, excelling in her leadership role long before it was common for women to have a place at the leadership table.   

She came to leadership not by choice but through duty.  At just 21 she was thrust into a role so few of us would want, let alone excel in. Yes, she has made mistakes – but haven’t we all.   

What struck me most while I watched her funeral, was my disappointment as I realised we are unlikely to have another female monarch for at least the next 3 generations.  Our new King and the next 2 in line were all on display for us to see. All men. 

And here’s the lesson for me.   

My own unconscious bias… towards a preference for a Queen rather than a King as the head of the monarchy.   

We’ve got so accustomed to the style of leadership the Queen brought to the role. For 70 years we’ve seen no other leadership style.  We’re become comfortable and familiar with having a woman in the role.   

Is it possible the new King – a man – will do a great job too?   

Probably.  

However right now, I’m having a hard time seeing Charles as the head of the monarchy.  Not only because I don’t warm to him.  I don’t see him having the same caring touch, poise, grace or sparkle of the queen – all qualities I’ve come to expect from the Crown.   

But we are going to have to let go of what we’ve come to expect and allow him to Lead His Way.  His leadership style will be different.  He will bring not only his own strengths, passions and quirks – but also the male perspective.   

Just like any new leader – we need to give him a chance to find his way.   

Which brings me back to unconscious bias. 

As we strive to bring more women to the leadership table – we need to be aware of the unconscious bias that is undoubtedly playing out each and every day in workplaces across the globe.  Until recently, senior leadership roles were almost exclusively held by men.  We became comfortable and accustomed to the style of leadership they brought to the table – just like we became accustomed to the style of leadership Queen Elizabeth demonstrated over such a prolonged period.   

Today, as I’ve pondered the Queens final farewell as she was finally laid to rest, I’ve been shocked by my own unconscious bias, and it’s left me wondering about the degree of impact unconscious bias continues to have on hiring managers around the world.   

I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

 

 

Image source:Steve Parsons/Pool Photo via AP

 

 

LET'S CONNECT

Similar Blog Posts

From doing it all … to…

When you cast your mind back to when you first stepped into a leadership role, it’s possible you remember the feelings of excitement and pride, mixed with fear and trepidation.

What’s required to excel as an effective team member is different to what’s required of us as a leader. It involves a massive behavioural shift which, according to the tenets of Emotional Intelligence, also requires a corresponding shift in self-perception and identity

Jane Benston

My story, amplified

So, how did I come to be a women’s leadership coach?  

Like all good stories, the journey wasn’t all smooth sailing. I help women dig deep from a place not just of expertise but also from experience. I’ve felt that sense of career frustration and resentment. Let me tell you my story… 

Jane Benston

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

You’re sitting in the car park at work with a splitting headache and with that sinking feeling of here we go again. The 3 coffees you’ve downed already to give you a bit of an energetic lift haven’t helped; in fact, you feel more than a little shaky. Your phone has lit up like a Christmas tree with fires you’re expected to put out, yet all you want to do is book a room at the nearest hotel, close the blinds and sleep for days.

Jane Benston

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

New year, New Job, New You

New year, new job, new you

You’ve had time to reflect over the summer break and you’ve come to the decision that a new job is on your list of goals for the year. Good for you!

Perhaps you’re looking for greater job satisfaction, more money, better corporate culture, more variety, more flexibility, a leader who inspires you or to have a greater impact. Whatever the reason… you know that it’s going to take time and energy.

SEEK research found that 90% of Australians take up to six months to find and secure a new job.

But there are some key things you can do to make your job search easier, faster and help you to land your ideal next role.

And it’s not all about jumping into action.

Not yet. Hold your horses for a moment ladies.

First we need to set the foundations; do the ground work and set you up for success.

Here’s where to start

  1. Clarify what you want. Ok so I hear you saying… that’s my problem Jane, I’m not sure what I want.

There may be lots you don’t yet have clarity on – but let’s start with what you know you do want.

What type of tasks do you want to be doing each day? What key skills do you want to be using? Do you want to be leading a team? Do you want the opportunity to work from home? Do you want travel to be part of the role?

  1. Be clear about what you don’t want. This is equally as important as knowing what you do want.

Perhaps you have become known to be good at a task or role that you really don’t enjoy.

Some years ago, I became known as the expert/go-to-girl in managing the annual self insurance safety audit. I may have been really good at it … but I loathed this task!

I was really good at influencing the key stakeholders throughout the business to be involved, providing the necessary documentation and to prepare them to effectively answer the auditor’s questions.

But I was terrible at all the attention to detail required in the three-month long project. PLEASE poke pins in my eyes before I have to do this type of project again!

How about you? What would you rather not do in your next role?

  1. Understand your strengths. This step is key. Be really really clear about what your key strengths are.

I ask this question of smart, professional women every day… and almost every single time they struggle to answer. And if they do manage to get out a couple of dot points, I’m rarely convinced they believe these are their strengths.

Ladies … you have to get clear and comfortable to SELL who you are and what it is you would bring to your next role.

  1. Know your value. You are so much more than a list of attributes or the jobs you’ve held in the past. Yes, these are part of the story but not the complete picture.

You are unique and have a special value to bring to your next role. What is it?

For example: Susan’s unique gift is that she is a master at uniting a team to deliver way beyond the business expectations. Carissa is a genius in taking a complex idea and bringing it to life in a no nonsense kind of way. Katy is known within her industry to be invaluable in the negotiation phase of multi million dollar IT projects.

You have a unique value to share. It’s time to own it! Make it clear in your CV, LinkedIn profile and during the interview stage that you would be an impressive asset to the right employer.

  1. Decide you’re worthy. Because you are. You know you are capable of so much more and you want to contribute in a bigger, more significant way.

But let me tell you … the most likely thing standing between you and your ideal next role is YOU. I know, harsh but true.

If you don’t believe you’re worthy of the types of roles you really aspire to…. no one else will believe you either. Your lack of self belief will seep through in your job applications, your networking efforts and in your interviews.

Ladies, it’s time to embrace all of who you are and the value you have to offer.

——————

Like some support getting clear on how to go about accessing your next ideal role?  Book a Leadership Support Session here, and together we’ll create a plan for your success!

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

From doing it all … to…

When you cast your mind back to when you first stepped into a leadership role, it’s possible you remember the feelings of excitement and pride, mixed with fear and trepidation.

What’s required to excel as an effective team member is different to what’s required of us as a leader. It involves a massive behavioural shift which, according to the tenets of Emotional Intelligence, also requires a corresponding shift in self-perception and identity

Jane Benston

My story, amplified

So, how did I come to be a women’s leadership coach?  

Like all good stories, the journey wasn’t all smooth sailing. I help women dig deep from a place not just of expertise but also from experience. I’ve felt that sense of career frustration and resentment. Let me tell you my story… 

Jane Benston

What the Queen taught me about…

As I sat on the couch this week watching the Queens funeral, I was transfixed by the pomp and ceremony of it all. There’s no doubt the Pom’s know how to create a sense of occasion.

Here we were, witnessing history.

Jane Benston

Your ultimate guide to making the most of the silly season

Your ultimate guide to making the most of the silly season

Your ultimate guide to making the most of the silly season

The days are getting warmer and the evenings longer which means we are on the downhill stretch to Christmas, the silly season and the end of the year.

And with restrictions finally lifted – it’s time to get out and about and connect… in person. 

But this does not mean that it’s time to put your career aspirations on hold, swan off with a cocktail in hand or slip into your summer sandals and head to the beach for that long awaited break. Not quite so fast, my friend. That time will come but not quite yet.

Here’s what I suggest you focus on first. 

As I’ve discussed with many high-achieving women over the last couple of weeks, this is the perfect time to get out and about connecting and positioning yourself for the types of roles you would like to be considered for come the new year.

  And with the Great Resignation ramping up – there are plenty of amazing opportunities out there. They may not all be being advertised, but they are there and the way to access them is through your connections.

In just the last 2 months 6 of the ladies in The Leadership Connection (my inner circle membership for Mid Career Women) have secured amazing new roles.  

So, ladies, it’s time to dig into the back of your wardrobe, pull on some real clothes and head out for a pre-Christmas drink, coffee or lunch. Look through your contact list and pick up the phone to colleagues from years gone past.

Go into this festive period with an intention to have some fun, while also making the best use of the opportunity to strengthen key relationships, build your profile and seek opportunities in the hidden job market.

Yes… I’m suggesting you be a little bit strategic.

As I’ve discovered, through many discussions with women over the last couple of years … knowing how to have these conversations and exactly how to position yourself can be bewildering.

Here are my 5 best suggestions for making the most of the festive silly season.

  1. Relationships first, business second.

Focus on building genuine robust relationships. No one likes to be taken advantage of or used. So, look to develop authentic connections and be willing to give even more than you would ultimately like to get from the relationship. And remember, a handwritten, heartfelt note to those people you are grateful to have in your life will go a long way to raising your profile as a genuine professional worth supporting.

  1. Own your accomplishments.

When someone asks you how the year has been, speak of what you have achieved and what has made you proud this year. No more hiding in the shadows or skipping over the wins. This is all about positioning your skills and talents and developing your personal brand.

  1. Be open to new opportunities.

At this time of the year people will ask you about your work, what you’re doing and if it’s been a good year. If you’re on the job market… let people know (with discretion of course.) If you don’t know exactly what is next for you then share that you are exploring opportunities that will allow you to use your X, Y and Z skills and further develop your interest and passion for A, B and C.

  1. Ask for introductions.

Your next role is most likely to come through an introduction or a recommendation from someone in your network. So, let’s expand the network. Ask your connections whether there is anyone within their network that may be valuable for you to connect with. Remember, you will never get what you don’t ask for.

  1. Have fun.

Let’s face it, it’s been a tough year and you’ve worked hard, so let’s take some time to enjoy the festive season. A positive, optimistic and fun attitude during the silly season will do wonders for your soul and boost your chances of a fabulous opportunity coming. 

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

From doing it all … to…

When you cast your mind back to when you first stepped into a leadership role, it’s possible you remember the feelings of excitement and pride, mixed with fear and trepidation.

What’s required to excel as an effective team member is different to what’s required of us as a leader. It involves a massive behavioural shift which, according to the tenets of Emotional Intelligence, also requires a corresponding shift in self-perception and identity

Jane Benston

My story, amplified

So, how did I come to be a women’s leadership coach?  

Like all good stories, the journey wasn’t all smooth sailing. I help women dig deep from a place not just of expertise but also from experience. I’ve felt that sense of career frustration and resentment. Let me tell you my story… 

Jane Benston

What the Queen taught me about…

As I sat on the couch this week watching the Queens funeral, I was transfixed by the pomp and ceremony of it all. There’s no doubt the Pom’s know how to create a sense of occasion.

Here we were, witnessing history.

Jane Benston

Your energy is contagious and your reputation is at stake

Your energy is contagious and your reputation is at stake

How you show up at work matters. The type of energy you bring to your work impacts your effectiveness while also shaping your professional reputation. It’s not something many of us give much consideration to, but it can absolutely influence our outcomes and whether or not new and exciting opportunities come our way.

So let’s pause and reflect on the type of energy you bring to work every day – whether that’s in the office or while working from home. 

Imagine for a moment that you are encased in a bubble and in that bubble is your energy. That energy could be positive, energetic, loving, inspiring, compassionate, caring or it could be negative, stressed, anxious, angry, sharp, abrasive or abrupt.

And as you move through your day … your energy is bumping up against other people and is having either a positive or a negative impactregardless whether you’re  working in person or virtually.

Your energy will absolutely shape the opinion others have of you and influence the mood and the morale of the team.

Recently, I caught up with a senior leader whose energy was tuned into the land of frustration, crankiness and in a constant state of fighting against the system.  At every turn, all they could focus on were all the things that weren’t working and how a particular global decision was negatively impacting on them and their team.

They shared with me that they were constantly tired and feeling like they were in a “battle”.  They weren’t sleeping well and there is no doubt that they were gaining a reputation for being a negative influence throughout the business.

This was so unlike the bright, bubbly, solution-focused energy they usually brought to the leadership table.

So my question to you today is…

  • What energy are you known for? 
  • Are you having a positive or a negative influence on those around you?

Your energy is more contagious than the common cold!

The energy and attitude you bring to your work will rub off on your team and colleagues and influence how they show up and interact with you. 

Your energy also impacts your personal productivity, the decisions you make and the effectiveness of your communication. It’s pretty difficult to think strategically or creatively or to build effective relationships with people when you are in a really crappy mood!

And most importantly, how you show up every day will absolutely be influencing your professional reputation.

Everyone you come into contact with will be silently judging whether they like working with you and whether they see you as an effective leader based on your energy and attitude.

So let’s put on our big girl pants and take a little responsibility. 

It’s time to be more conscious of our energy and agree that there may be times when we’re not bringing our best selves to work.

HERE ARE 3 ENERGIES YOU ARE BEST TO BANISH FROM YOUR BUBBLE.

  1. Overwhelmed Crazy Women. Yep … this is the crazy woman who is about to go into meltdown. I know that you know her. Maybe you know her rather too well.

If you are familiar with this women, you know that it’s like her brain has been hijacked by an alien. She is unable to function effectively and she emits a chaotic energy. Her decision making powers have gone out the window along with their usual calm, rational efficiency.

Generally the trigger will be an unusually high workload that has spiralled out of control and ironically her response makes getting through her growing “to do list” almost impossible to complete.

  1. Negative Nelly. Unfortunately this energy is all too common in many workplaces.   I know her well… she chose to show up in me for a time some years back. Ugly but true.

She genuinely loves to get involved in idol gossip that has nothing to do with her. She is fuelled by wingeing and complaining and has an incessant focus on problems outside of her control.

The glass is always half empty and she has every reason under the sun why things won’t work. The Negative Nelly loves to blame others and make excuses… and rarely takes any responsibility.

  1. Don’t Come Near Me … because I’m about to snap. Ahh… scary! If you are taken over by this energy, look out. You are about to get a reputation to be hard to work with and may well find your colleagues giving you a wide berth.

Some of your team will be scared of you, some won’t trust you and some will choose to avoid you as best they can.

This angry ant is like a pressure cooker, on the verge of exploding. She can at times say things she doesn’t really mean but once they are out… she cant take them back.

And the choice is entirely yours…

We all have the choice of how we show up and how we respond to situations around us.  

If you recognise that you have let one of these unresourceful energies out to play a little too often… think about what impact it is having on you, your work performance, your team engagement and ultimately your reputation?

Perhaps it’s time to upgrade the energy in your energy bubble!

 

LET'S CONNECT

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Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

From doing it all … to…

When you cast your mind back to when you first stepped into a leadership role, it’s possible you remember the feelings of excitement and pride, mixed with fear and trepidation.

What’s required to excel as an effective team member is different to what’s required of us as a leader. It involves a massive behavioural shift which, according to the tenets of Emotional Intelligence, also requires a corresponding shift in self-perception and identity

Jane Benston

My story, amplified

So, how did I come to be a women’s leadership coach?  

Like all good stories, the journey wasn’t all smooth sailing. I help women dig deep from a place not just of expertise but also from experience. I’ve felt that sense of career frustration and resentment. Let me tell you my story… 

Jane Benston

What the Queen taught me about…

As I sat on the couch this week watching the Queens funeral, I was transfixed by the pomp and ceremony of it all. There’s no doubt the Pom’s know how to create a sense of occasion.

Here we were, witnessing history.

Jane Benston

Hit a mid-career plateau? 5 assumptions that will keep you stuck?

Hit a mid-career plateau? 5 assumptions that will keep you stuck?

Is it possible that you are your worst enemy when it comes to progressing your career?  Are you playing small, ruling yourself out or holding back from stepping up to the next level of leadership?  

I see smart, super talented, ultra-experienced professional women languishing in middle management roles.  They have what it takes to excel as a senior leader, but they get stuck. It’s frustrating and demoralising for them and a sad waste of exceptional talent. 

If you can relate – I’m sure you’re not doing it consciously. I don’t think any of us mean to hold ourselves back. 

You don’t set out to undermine your own success. You’re not deliberately underselling your brilliance or letting the best opportunities pass you by… but I’ve seen it happen. 

So how does it happen? 

It’s when we unconsciously hold beliefs that are at odds with our goals and ambitions. We make automatic assumptions that prevent us from taking bold action, raising our profile, speaking about our aspirations or applying for the ideal next role. 

Are any of these 5 common beliefs keeping you stuck at a mid-career plateau?

1. I’m not ready yet. 

Research shows that women tend to grossly underestimate their abilities and rule themselves out of more senior roles even when they are more qualified or experienced than the eventual winning candidate.

The truth is, it’s likely that you are ready.  You don’t need more experience or an MBA or validation from whoever you think knows you better than you know yourself.  You are way more capable than you think and the only way you’ll truly know you’re ready is by giving it a go! 

2.  It’s not the right time.

The last few years have been tough.  You may even feel mentally drained.  I get it we’ve all been dealing with a LOT.  But a new role or an exciting challenge may be just the thing to get you out of your rut and motivated to do your best work again.  

3. I’m too busy. 

The epidemic of busy continues to zap our time and our energy but to what end? If you were to do a quick 60 second audit of what has kept you busy today – has your busyness contributed to your health, happiness, fulfilment or professional growth?  

  • Are you busy doing what is most important to you, your team and your organisation?
  • Are you busy doing what will bring you joy, fulfillment and meaning?
  • Are you busy doing work that will contribute to your career progression?
  • Or have you become stuck in the busyness of life and checking off your to do list?

    4. I might fail. 

Yes, you might! But you might also excel! Imagine that!  And even if you do stumble, you are way more resilient than you might at first think.

We have a choice of settling for the status quo or to take a chance on ourselves. 

If the fear of failure comes up for you – ask yourself “If I did, could I handle it?”   Undoubtedly the answer is almost always YES.

5. I can’t afford it. 

Sometimes a financial investment is the best way to fast track career progression or to open up new opportunities. 

Have you ever found yourself saying…

  • I can’t afford to attend the conference I really want to go to.
  • I can’t afford to take that holiday that would really help me to pause, reflect and decompress. 
  • I can’t afford to invest in a development program or mentoring that would really help me to up level.

When we say we can’t – we make it true, and we immediately shut off the opportunity.

Imagine instead asking the question; “How might I make this possible?” This one simple question opens up possibility and choice. 

Which of these beliefs ring true for you?  Could it be the reason you’ve hit a mid-career plateau? 

Self awareness is the first step towards change and getting unstuck.  

Good luck.

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

From doing it all … to…

When you cast your mind back to when you first stepped into a leadership role, it’s possible you remember the feelings of excitement and pride, mixed with fear and trepidation.

What’s required to excel as an effective team member is different to what’s required of us as a leader. It involves a massive behavioural shift which, according to the tenets of Emotional Intelligence, also requires a corresponding shift in self-perception and identity

Jane Benston

My story, amplified

So, how did I come to be a women’s leadership coach?  

Like all good stories, the journey wasn’t all smooth sailing. I help women dig deep from a place not just of expertise but also from experience. I’ve felt that sense of career frustration and resentment. Let me tell you my story… 

Jane Benston

What the Queen taught me about…

As I sat on the couch this week watching the Queens funeral, I was transfixed by the pomp and ceremony of it all. There’s no doubt the Pom’s know how to create a sense of occasion.

Here we were, witnessing history.

Jane Benston

High achievers have these 5 things in common

High achievers have these 5 things in common

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to have the gift of turning everything they touch into gold? They lead the best teams, they achieve exceptional results and get noticed and promoted more often. And to top it off … they seem have everything sorted in their life outside of work too.

Meanwhile others struggle along, getting frustrated by their failures and going nowhere fast.   

It turns out that high performers think and operate differently.

The good news is that by adopting some of the key characteristics of those high achieving superstars you too can more consistently achieve more of what you want from life and work.

5 Critical Characteristics of high achievers

  1.  They believe it is possible.There is a correlation between what we believe is possible and what our results are. If we think we can’t, we won’t. If we think we can then there is a fair chance we will. It is like our belief becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Believing in your ability to succeed drives action, generates a can do energy and defeats self doubt.  You are more likely to notice opportunities as they arise and go after them with a sense of confidence and certainty.

  1.  They resist the fear of failure. High achievers know that they are likely to encounter failures along the way. They don’t let the fear of failure hold them back from taking action. Just like the rest of us they experience fear. The difference is that they act in spite of it.

Many high profile successful people including Oprah, Arianna Huffington and Brene Brown have spoken about their failures as being learning lessons on their way to success.  They do not fear failure or internalize it; they don’t identify with it or say, “I am a failure.” Instead, they study and analyse their failures, and take what they can to learn from them.

  1.  They consciously create their future. They don’t leave their life or professional success and happiness up to chance. High achievers regularly carve out time throughout the year to get specific about what they want, and then to go about achieving those things.

So, start with the end in mind.  Get specific about what you want from your career and your life.  Visualise it.  Document it.  Talk about it.  Believe that it is on its way.  It’s now just a matter of time.

  1.  They stay focused on the goal. High achievers keep their eye on the prize. They know what they want, they know why they want it, and they go after it.

There is going to come a point in the pursuit of any big goal when you are going to want to quit and walk away.  Perhaps it gets hard, you hit up against a challenge or resistance or you lose motivation. 

You must remain connected to why this endeavour is important to you and focus on what is at stake. This will give you the push you need to keep going when things get tough.

  1.  They reject the comfort zone. High achievers know that progress and growth doesn’t come from within the comfort zone.

Think back across the career achievements you are most proud of.  It’s highly likely that these achievements are characterised by the fact that they were challenging and required you to stretch beyond what you thought you were capable of.

Growth happens outside your comfort zone.  You are capable of so much more than you think.  Be brave and take the step.  Trust that you will be about to handle the challenge.

Next steps…

By focusing on even one of these characteristics can create a massive shift in your results.  Which one will make the biggest  difference for you?

 

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

From doing it all … to…

When you cast your mind back to when you first stepped into a leadership role, it’s possible you remember the feelings of excitement and pride, mixed with fear and trepidation.

What’s required to excel as an effective team member is different to what’s required of us as a leader. It involves a massive behavioural shift which, according to the tenets of Emotional Intelligence, also requires a corresponding shift in self-perception and identity

Jane Benston

My story, amplified

So, how did I come to be a women’s leadership coach?  

Like all good stories, the journey wasn’t all smooth sailing. I help women dig deep from a place not just of expertise but also from experience. I’ve felt that sense of career frustration and resentment. Let me tell you my story… 

Jane Benston

What the Queen taught me about…

As I sat on the couch this week watching the Queens funeral, I was transfixed by the pomp and ceremony of it all. There’s no doubt the Pom’s know how to create a sense of occasion.

Here we were, witnessing history.

Jane Benston

Rock Your Career Post Lockdown

Rock Your Career Post Lockdown

Over recent weeks I’ve been reflecting on how much the professional landscape has changed since March 2020.  The way we work, where we work and what we work on, has in many ways changed forever.

And right now, we are transitioning to yet another new phase of uncertainty and change as we move towards opening up and “living with COVID.” 

We don’t yet know what the new normal will look like – but we can be sure that most organisations will not slip back into operating as they did pre-pandemic.  

Many businesses are in the middle of developing new plans and strategies for the coming years and are reviewing whether they have the right people to implement their vision and are in search of the best talent to bolster a depleted workforce.  

The “Great Resignation” that is currently sweeping around the globe is also creating mass movement of talent.  People at every level are reassessing their work and life choices and making decisions about what matters most to them.  

The flow on effect is that top talent is in high demand and is opening up some incredible opportunities.

You may be exhausted from the very long lockdowns and restrictions.  You may be thinking you’ll just limp through to Christmas and take some time early next year to consider what’s next for you…

But if you can find the strength, I encourage you to be curious about the opportunities that are all around you RIGHT NOW.

Over the past 2 or 3 weeks my diary has been filled with appointments, supporting mid-career women who are taking advantage of the job opportunities available.  Some of these women weren’t even looking for a new role – but have been approached to consider exciting projects that were too good to pass up.  

And not only are they securing these exciting roles – they are also negotiating significant pay rises, attractive benefits including flexibility and continued working from home and have had a say in the creation of the job specifics.  

Are you ready to take advantage of this unique moment in history – where you as a talented professional, are in the box seat?

You have the power because they want and need you – even more than you want and need the role they are offering. 

Here’s what to do right now to take advantage of current job opportunities

1. Know what you want. 

Start by getting clear on what your ideal next role might look like.  It’s OK to dream a little about the type of work you’d like to be doing based on what you love to do and your unique talents, skills and experience.  Importantly, think about the value you’d most like to contribute to a business.  

With this clarity, if you are approached about a potential role, you’ll be ready to assess it based on what you really want. 

2. Spread the word

This is not a time to fly under the radar.  You’ve been hidden away at home for long enough!  It’s time to reconnect with your professional network.  Pick up the phone or arrange time to meet for coffee – even if it’s in a park for now.   

If you’ve been too busy or have lost your professional mojo of late, how about putting some time aside in the coming weeks to re-establishing some of your key relationships.  

The best opportunities are being filled via word of mouth so make sure you’re not shy about sharing what types of roles you’d like to be considered for. 

3. Believe

In the current climate, hiring managers are looking for talent with room for growth.  What this means for you is that there is a chance you may be approached for a role that you would have previously thought was out of your league.  

It’s time to believe in you.  You are ready!  Say yes and then surround yourself with a support team to assist you to grow into the role.  

If they believe in you … so should you!  

Good luck.  You’ve got this. This is your time. 

 

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

From doing it all … to…

When you cast your mind back to when you first stepped into a leadership role, it’s possible you remember the feelings of excitement and pride, mixed with fear and trepidation.

What’s required to excel as an effective team member is different to what’s required of us as a leader. It involves a massive behavioural shift which, according to the tenets of Emotional Intelligence, also requires a corresponding shift in self-perception and identity

Jane Benston

My story, amplified

So, how did I come to be a women’s leadership coach?  

Like all good stories, the journey wasn’t all smooth sailing. I help women dig deep from a place not just of expertise but also from experience. I’ve felt that sense of career frustration and resentment. Let me tell you my story… 

Jane Benston

What the Queen taught me about…

As I sat on the couch this week watching the Queens funeral, I was transfixed by the pomp and ceremony of it all. There’s no doubt the Pom’s know how to create a sense of occasion.

Here we were, witnessing history.

Jane Benston

What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for?

Every day I speak to women who are waiting.

They are waiting to feel smart enough, good enough, old enough or for someone to notice their talent or how hard they are working.  

It shouldn’t surprise me… because I remember a time when I was waiting to feel ready for the next step in my career.  I had no idea why I was waiting or what being ready would look like or feel like… but I was waiting.

Career progress is only achieved when we stop waiting and become proactive in our development.

If you are waiting to step up to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition… it’s time to stop waiting.  

Here are the 7 top reasons I hear from women about why they are waiting.

  1.  Waiting to feel worthy or good enough.   If this is you – it’s likely you see yourself with less potential or skill than others do!  Imposter Syndrome is often part of the story where you allow your inner critic to influence your confidence and self-belief. 

One talented leader I worked with was waiting to “feel” like a leader before speaking up in a leadership team meeting.  Another was waiting to feel more confident before agreeing to present her ideas to the board – even though she was passionate and expert in her field. 

  1.  Waiting to be old enough. Do you have a belief that you need to be of a certain age to be considered for a particular level of leadership or to be taken seriously? 

I have worked with high achieving young women who have rocketed into positions of influence at a young age but then feel they have to wait for their age to catch up, to take the next step.  

  1.  Waiting to be ready.  Ready for what?  Who knows?  But still you wait! Perhaps this is linked to feeling good enough or worthy enough.  It is certainly linked to the fear of failure and the need to protect yourself from risk.  

And sometimes it’s got nothing at all to do with professional capabilities.  One woman told me she was waiting to lose weight and buy a new corporate wardrobe before she started looking for a new job.

  1.  Waiting to be knowledgeable enough.  Do you think you need more knowledge, skill or training to be able to take the next step?  Perhaps you do!  But it’s highly likely you don’t.  

If you don’t believe me… seek advice from someone who knows you well and understands the requirements of the types of opportunities you want to be considered for.  My guess is that the quickest and most effective way to get the knowledge and experience you think you need, is by saying YES and taking the next step.   

  1.  Waiting until it is your turn.  Getting promoted because you have done your time went out of vogue years ago!  Career progression is now all about taking opportunities and going after what you want.  You will be given opportunities based on the value you can offer and being the best fit for the role not because of your years of tenure within the organisation.
  2.  Waiting until you are tapped on the shoulder. This strategy may have worked well for you in your early career – but at this level of leadership, hard work and results isn’t enough to get you noticed.  I know it should be but it’s not! 

Progressing your career is up to you.  It is about raising your profile, creating opportunities and taking steps to make it clear that you are the obvious choice for promotion or consideration for inclusion on an exciting project.

  1.  Waiting until your circumstances change.  Most of us have a lot going on outside of work which at times can impact what we are capable of or prepared to take on at work. Kids, holidays, moving home, weddings, illness, COVID!  These are all good reasons to take a step back but are you using your circumstances as an elegant excuse?

Stop waiting and take action!

If you recognise yourself in any of these, perhaps it is time to take your foot off the brake, lift your finger off the pause button and get into action.  

You are already good enough and experienced enough and you already know enough. If you are waiting for someone to notice your brilliance and hand you your perfect job, you could be waiting a very long time!

Your professional fulfilment and growth is up to you.  Go out and grab it with both hands… NOW!

And know … you are already enough!

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

From doing it all … to…

When you cast your mind back to when you first stepped into a leadership role, it’s possible you remember the feelings of excitement and pride, mixed with fear and trepidation.

What’s required to excel as an effective team member is different to what’s required of us as a leader. It involves a massive behavioural shift which, according to the tenets of Emotional Intelligence, also requires a corresponding shift in self-perception and identity

Jane Benston

My story, amplified

So, how did I come to be a women’s leadership coach?  

Like all good stories, the journey wasn’t all smooth sailing. I help women dig deep from a place not just of expertise but also from experience. I’ve felt that sense of career frustration and resentment. Let me tell you my story… 

Jane Benston

What the Queen taught me about…

As I sat on the couch this week watching the Queens funeral, I was transfixed by the pomp and ceremony of it all. There’s no doubt the Pom’s know how to create a sense of occasion.

Here we were, witnessing history.

Jane Benston