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Quit being busy and get more strategic!

Quit being busy and get more strategic!

If you want to be seen as a leader you must be strategic and work towards the bigger goals of your organisation.

Being busy does not make you a good leader.

Being stuck in the weeds of the day-to-day does not make you a leader.

Great leaders create time and space to be strategic, solve the big problems and focus on projects that impact the goals of the organisation.

Sadly, many of the super talented mid-career professional women I speak with are failing to truly lead.

They have the capacity and capability to be exceptional leaders – but they are too bogged down in the busy work to focus on the work that matters.

They’re tied up doing Busy Bee work when what they really want and need to be doing is Queen Bee work (you can read more about this here) – and they’re exhausted and frustrated because of it.

They are being overlooked for the best opportunities, feel overwhelmed by their huge workload, and have no idea how to break free of their massive to-do list.

Can you relate?

The truth is – working harder will not get you out of this pickle. In fact, being hardworking, helpful, reliable, and good at your JOB is in part what got you into this situation. Now it’s time to let go of those habits and find some new ways of working.

The habits that supported you to excel as a valued team member are not the habits that will get you seen as an exceptional leader.

As I like to say – what got you to this stage in your career, will not take you to the next level.

It’s now time to install some new habits. The habits of a great leader.

Quit being busy and start being strategic.

Here’s where I’d suggest you start….

Put aside 90 minutes in your calendar, one day a week, to focus on the big picture strategic work.

Pop it in your calendar and guard it with barbed wire (that would be the farm girl in me coming out!) Commit to showing up, week in and week out. No excuses and no exceptions.

This appointment with yourself is as important as every other appointment in your calendar. Or even more important. Value this time. Value the work you’ll get done in this time.

You have to create time.

It will not miraculously turn up in your calendar.

There will always be tasks to complete and to-do’s vying for your attention.

True leaders understand the importance of stepping away from Busy Bee tasks and intentionally creating space to put on their strategic hat.

Can this feel uncomfortable or achievable when your to-do list is lengthy?

Of course!

BUT you will soon see that just 90 short minutes a week will not only move the dial on your most important projects, it will also have a positive impact on your career growth. (read this for some practical pointers on how to find more time in your days!)

So, my question today is – will you commit to making this change?

This one small tweak to your week will create massive change to the way you show up as a leader.

Like some more simple strategies to help you quit being busy and start being more strategic? Our 8-week group coaching program for mid-career professional women – IGNITE – could be just the thing for you. Click  to find out more.

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

5 keys to creating momentum for career growth

5 keys to creating momentum for career growth

Have you ever wanted to create change in your career but felt overwhelmed by the enormity of the task ahead? The idea of stepping up to the next big thing, changing career direction or creating some new results, can at times seem totally daunting and a task too large to begin.

The comfort of what we know is all too alluring…. but often not at all satisfying. We delude ourselves into thinking that avoiding risk and sticking with the status quo – however miserable – is the smartest and best course of action… when of course it isn’t.

I know this to be true because I stayed in a job for more than 18 months even though I was totally miserable, unproductive and doing a lousy job. I stayed, wishing, waiting and hoping that things would improve but of course they never did.

It took a “crisis” to finally push me to find the courage, to take action and move on.

So often I see leaders who want to create change in their career, but are too busy, overwhelmed and exhausted to find the space in their schedule to even pause to think about what they truly want, let alone reflect, create a plan and commit to action.

Here are 5 keys to creating momentum for career growth.

  1.  Press the pause button. Get off the treadmill and be still. That’s right, just stop! Until you take time out to think, create and plan nothing is likely to change. The busyness of our lives does not allow for creativity, problem solving and we are unlikely to see the opportunities that are right there waiting to be seized.

Start by blocking out a chuck of time to reflect on your current career status.  Grab a pen and paper and jot down your thoughts. What is working for you?  What frustrates you?  What do you wish was different? What do you love most about your current role? Does your role provide a positive challenge for you and are you being given opportunities for growth?

  1.  Assess the cost of maintaining the status quo. I wonder what it is costing you right now by maintaining the status quo? Is your health taking a hit? Are you neglecting some of the people who are most important to you? Has your career flat lined? Are you bored, uninspired and feeling lost?

Getting clear on the true cost of staying stuck is often enough to create the motivation and the drive to create change. Life is too short to settle for mediocre!!!

  1.  Listen to your intuition. If you have experienced a quiet and persistent gut reaction for some time telling you that something has to change… well it is now time to listen. The busier we get the less we listen to our own intuition but this is exactly when we need to stop and ask ourselves what is our intuition telling us here.

Our intuition can be a brilliant guide, particularly when we pair it with our rational, analytical brain to assess the risk, weigh up the options and assess the facts. Bring the two together and you have a powerful foundation for effective decision making.

  1.  Find support. Yes you are a strong independent woman…. but you don’t need to go alone. Reach out to your network and ask for their support and assistance. You will be surprised at how willing people will be to provide you with their help if only they know how.

Women are great at building relationships, connecting and sharing ideas. We are born to nurture the growth and development of others. You have no doubt extended a helping hand to others at some time, now it is your turn. Let people know what opportunities you are looking for and share your career dreams and aspirations.

Opportunities for promotion, career change or a position that will allow you more flexibility and lifestyle choices may be as close as one conversation with the right person.

  1.  Know you are capable. Yes You! You’re capable of so much more than you might at first think. Even if the worst was to happen, I am guessing you could handle it.

Every day I work with women who underestimate their potential. There seems to be an epidemic out there of women who down play their achievements, question their value and are blind to the unique skills and talents they bring to their work.

It is time to shift your focus from what you can’t do to what in fact you can!

And then take action. Nothing changes without action and without doing some things differently.

Now is your time. You have been waiting long enough. If you want to create change in your career it is up to you. The hardest step of any change is the first so…. be bold, be brave and believe that you can.

Know that something needs to change but unsure where to start? 

Book in for a Leadership Support Session here, and together we’ll create a tangible plan to move you forward courageously, strategically and in a way that honours and utilises your strengths.)

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

You are already capable

You are already capable

Have you noticed that many women underestimate their abilities and fail to shine a light on their performance? 

Are you one of those women?

Perhaps, at times, you have thought you needed to know more, learn more or have more experience to be taken seriously, seek promotion or allow your true value to be seen.

If you are … you are absolutely not alone.

No doubt you’ve heard about the studies that have repeatedly found that men overestimate their abilities and performance, and women underestimate both…. while their performance is of equal quality.

A study by HP found that women only applied for a promotion when they believed they met 100% of the qualifications listed for the job. Men were happy to apply when they thought they could meet 60% of the job requirements.

Ladies, if we want to have more of an impact at the leadership table, it is time for us to shift our thinking.

You do not need to learn more. You do not need to be more experienced. You do not need to wait for permission or to be tapped on the shoulder. And, most importantly, you do not need to wait until you feel more comfortable and confident in your abilities.

What you really need is to get out there and get the experience by doing the do. 

You need to apply for that next promotion… even when your experience does not meet 100% of the criteria. You need to step up and tackle that high profile project that will get the attention of those that matter.

Next time you catch yourself thinking you need that next level of expertise before taking a step … STOP IT. You already have enough, know enough and are enough to take action from exactly where you are right now.

We women will never break through the glass ceiling or truly settle into our place at the leadership table in the numbers that will really make a difference while we allow ourselves to think we need everything to be perfect before we make the next move.

It is time to break the long held patterns of thinking and to create some new rules to live and work by. No more waiting, perfecting and pondering.   It is about taking action, surrounding yourself with great people and learning as you go.

Here’s how to build the courage to step into all you are capable of –

  1. Notice your wins. Each week there are things to be proud of.  Sometimes they will be big things that are hard to ignore – but more often than not they will be small, almost insignificant, but wins all the same.  The more you focus on the things you do well – the more you’ll notice all that you are capable of.

  2.  Stop listening to your inner critic. Your inner critic is there to keep you safe and free from danger. But don’t believe everything it’s telling you is true. Look for evidence that you can rather than listening to all the reasons why you can’t.

  3.  Don’t do it alone. Surround yourself with a network of other advancing people who will lift you up, challenge you and support your growth. This may mean finding some new people to hang with.

Looking for a positive community of women to lift you higher.  Join us in Leading Ladies – a free group for mid-career professional women.

  1. Know you’ve got this. It is time to be brave and take action in spite of your fear and uncertainty. You are already smart enough, talented enough, experienced enough!  All that’s missing is you believing that you can.  It is only through putting yourself out there that you will prove that to be true. 

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

7 common mistakes women make that leave them overlooked for promotions

7 common mistakes women make that leave them overlooked for promotions

Being overlooked for a promotion, pay rise or being excluded on a high profile project can be devastating.  I’ve seen it rock women to their core, put a dent in their self-belief and knock their confidence for a six. 

And … I’ve seen it be the wake-up call they so desperately needed.  It’s shaken them out of a place of complacency and provided them with an opportunity to reassess how they are going about building a fulfilling and rewarding career.

Here are 7 common mistakes I see mid-career professional women make that leave them overlooked for promotion.

Regardless of whether you are looking for a promotion now or in a couple of years time, ask yourself – “Am I making any of these mistakes?” 

Mistake # 1: They fly under the radar

You cannot and will not be promoted if no one knows who you are and the value you bring to the team.  If you want to be seen as a leader you must get comfortable with raising your profile, getting seen and allowing your voice to be heard.  Flying under the radar might feel safe – but it’s not what quality organisations are looking for in their leaders.

Mistake # 2: They expect their hard work will be rewarded

You may be proud of your “strong work ethic” and it’s possible that you’ve even been promoted because of it in the past – but at this level of leadership, hard work is not enough. 

Stepping up to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition requires you to work smarter.  It’s time to double down on prioritising your time to focus on the tasks that will have the biggest impact.  Sometimes that means slowing down and taking time out to think.  Leaders are employed to think – not just do.

Mistake #3: They wait too long

Positioning yourself for promotion needs to begin well before the opportunities present themselves.  It takes time, focus and strategic intent.  Sadly, women often wait until they have out-grown the role they are in before they start thinking about what’s next.  It’s never too early to position for your next ideal role.

Mistake #4: They leave it up to chance

Wishing, waiting and hoping you’ll be considered for the best career opportunities is not a suitable plan. At this level of leadership, you need to step into the driving seat and direct your own career path.  

Mistake #5: They fail to ask

As a fiercely independent woman who has achieved a lot on your own, asking for help is not necessarily in your DNA.  So, let me make this abundantly clear – asking for support, guidance and direction is not a weakness.  It’s a smart, effective strategy that if you choose to embrace, will open many doors.

So, let’s start with the obvious question.  Have you spoken with anyone within your organisation or your network about your desire to progress your career?  If they don’t know – they can’t help you.  

Mistake #6 They get distracted by busyness

Taking control of your career pathway takes focus, time and attention.  Many women I speak to have missed out on a promotion because they have allowed the busyness of their role (or their life) get in their way of doing what needs to be done to position themselves for the roles they want. 

Mistake #7 They rely on their manager

Waiting for your manager to drive your professional development and career progression is a recipe for disaster.  Your professional development is up to you.  It’s up to you to get clear on what type of role you want next and what you need to do to get there.  If you want something – new, different, better – it’s time to get strategic and go after it.

Which of these 7 mistakes do you see yourself making?

Whichever it is – there is a solution.  Let’s commit to doing a little work now so when the next opportunity pops up, you are ready.  I would hate for you to miss out on another role that is just perfect for you.

We are currently looking for 7 mid-career women who are ready to breakthrough what’s holding them back and step up to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  If that’s you, I invite you to join us in our next intake of Ignite – our 8 week group coaching program.  Click here to find out more. 

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

Missed out on a promotion?

Missed out on a promotion? 

Have you ever missed out on a promotion or a role that you think is perfect for you? You’ve got the runs on the board.  You do great work.  You’ve got the experience, but for some reason the hiring manager just can’t see why you would be a great addition to the team. 

On top of that, when you ask for feedback about why you didn’t get the role, they are unable to provide you with anything meaningful or useful for you to work on for next time. 

It’s not uncommon for women to reach out to me after this happens.  They are confused, frustrated and self-doubt is creeping in. 

Missing out on a role can feel like rejection. 

And with that, the voice inside our head, or as I like to call it “the shitty committee” can take over. 

“I’m not good enough.”

“Is this all I’m capable of?”

“I’m not cut out to be a senior leader.”

All of which can ultimately then lead to a crisis of confidence.

Can you relate?

So, here’s the thing.  You are good enough and you are absolutely capable of the role you want.  And, you don’t need a PHD or MBA to prove it. 

However, you do need to make a few changes.  We all know – if you keep doing the same things, you’ll keep getting the same results. 

Here’s what I’d suggest you focus on to position for the next level of leadership.

    1. Know your strengths. It all starts with knowing what you are great at and what value you bring to an organisation.  Leadership roles require you to do more than high quality work.  You must bring value to the activities that matter most to the organisation.

      To get access to those higher-level roles you need to be able to articulate who you are and what you can contribute – in your LinkedIn profile, your CV, when building strategic relationships and in a job interview.

      Speaking about what you’ve done is not enough.  It’s your job to make it easy for the hiring manager to understand why they need you in their leadership team.  

    1. Believe in your worth.  Ok, so your confidence has taken a knock.  Let’s fix that… and fast.  If you don’t believe in you, you can’t expect anyone else to see your value.

      There is something magnetic about someone who oozes understated self-confidence.  They have a certain presence that draws us in and compels us to sit up and take notice.  I want you to have that authentic X-factor that believing in your worth brings.

      Begin by shifting your thinking away from the negative self-talk. Notice every big and small win that contributes to the delivery of the organisation’s goals.   Little by little your self-belief and sense of worth will return.

    1. Prioritise promotion. The goal here is to make sure that people know who you are and the great work you do.  You want people to be speaking positively about the value you bring – even when you’re not in the room.  This is about building advocates who will promote you and help you to get access to the very best opportunities.

      As much as I know that self-promotion isn’t your thing… I’m going to suggest it’s time to toot your own horn.

      Trust me.  You can do this while maintaining your integrity.

      It’s as simple as sharing a little each week about the progress you and your team are making on those projects that matter most.

So, if you’ve been overlooked or missed out on a promotion or pay rise – let’s commit to doing a little work now so when the next opportunity pops up, you are ready.  My goal is that by doing the work now, you are the obvious choice for the most exciting opportunities.

If you’d like some support, guidance and accountability to ensure you do the work, I invite you to join us in our next intake of Ignite – our 8 week group coaching program for mid-career women who are ready to step up to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.

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

If you’re beating yourself up – Stop it!

If you’re beating yourself up - Stop it!

So you’ve found yourself in that awful place where you realised you’ve not lived up to your high standards.  Perhaps you’ve made a critical error, missed an opportunity to present well in a senior executive meeting or failed to deliver a piece of work by the deadline.  

And if that’s happened, there’s a fair chance you’ve taken the slippery road down, spiralling into a pattern of speaking unkindly to yourself or putting yourself down.  Or is that just me????

I found myself in this exact place a few weeks ago. 

I had received some unexpected disappointing feedback.  Now let me just pause for a minute and let you know that I’d received LOTS of positive feedback in relation to this event – but of course my focus immediately zeroed in on the one piece of negative feedback. 

Have you ever done that?  Ignored the positives and focused on the negatives?

As a mid career professional woman who has big visions, expansive goals and is actively putting herself outside her comfort zone – you will not always execute perfectly.  

Things don’t always go to plan, when you’re in the ring, stepping up and constantly trying new things.  It’s a very normal part of growing as a leader and progressing your career. 

So I want to ask you…

Is putting yourself down and beating yourself up, positively serving you? Is it helping you to advance your career? 

The likely answer is, ‘no’.

Let me tell you – Nothing good comes from the habit of beating yourself up. It doesn’t make you a ‘better’ Leader, or stop you from making mistakes in the future (because we all make mistakes), it only makes you feel terrible, leads you down the dark path of self doubt and critical overanalysis, and robs you of your confidence. 

Yes, we need to acknowledge what we can do better because that is the way we build mastery.  But focusing on the negatives is nothing but self destructive.  

You may have noticed too that when you beat yourself up, it spills over into other areas of your life? Many women tell me that they lose sleep, stop caring for themselves, feel tension in their relationships, and second guess their skills and abilities.

So, what can you do if you notice that you’re beating yourself up?

1. Be aware.  

The first step is to notice when you start beating yourself up.  Only when we recognise and become aware of something, can we change it. Pay extra attention to how you’re feeling and talking to yourself.  Then commit to stop the pattern. 

2. Make amends.  

Consider if there is ONE action you could take to make amends. Perhaps you could offer an apology to someone, fix your error or invest some time and energy into upskilling.

3. Do things differently.  

When things don’t go to plan there is a temptation to become overwhelmed by EVERYTHING you need to do differently … and so end up doing nothing.  Pick just ONE thing to focus on to get a better outcome next time.  Would you prepare more? Be less of a perfectionist? Ask for support?

4. Recognise the positive learnings.  

Now – shift your focus from what didn’t go well to ALL the things that went well (I can guarantee you that there will be plenty!) When we’re stuck in a cycle of beating ourselves up, this shift of focus can feel challenging, but it’s oh-so-important. And it’s the quickest way to shift you out of the downward spiral you may find yourself in. 

5. Let it go.  

Now is your time to release what happened. Dwelling on it and continuing to put yourself down will not serve you going forward. Make the commitment to take your learnings with you and let. it. go.


I know it can feel hard to choose to respond to difficult situations in new ways, but believe me when I say that doing so will support you to step more fully into your role as a Leader, progress your career and be a role model to those around you.

If you’re someone who tends to beat herself up when things go wrong, I invite you to book in for a 1:1 Leadership Support Session here.

Together we will help you better understand your triggers, and identify tangible ways that you can change your self destructive cycle of puts downs and self-deprecation, and instead, step more fully into your most powerful and confident self.

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

Back to work Blues? Here’s what to do.

Back to work Blues? Here’s what to do.

After quite a significant year in 2020, of doing our best to adapt to the changes brought about by COVID-19, have you found yourself re-evaluating your priorities and what’s important to you?  Are you battling the back-to-work-blues?

Perhaps you have returned to work after some precious time out, reconnecting with your friends and family and immersing yourself in all those activities that truly bring you joy.  As you step back into the office it would be normal to experience a little sadness for the loss of the sense of freedom that comes with long days at the beach, the joy of settling into a good book or enjoying a long lunch with friends.

But if you are dreading the end of holiday time and wondering how you will survive the year as it stretches out ahead of you… then perhaps it is time to reconsider whether you and your job are meant for one another.

However, before you take this as permission to go out and quit your job, lets first look at a few ideas that might help you reignite your career mojo.

How to overcome the back-to-work-blues:

1. Clarify Your Goals.

I know you have heard this one before and you may have wondered if it’s really important. Well, it is! One year is much more likely to flow into the next without you actually making any progress in the absence of the focus and direction that comes from setting goals.

If goals are not your thing, then one idea I like to play with each year, is to set a theme for the year. For example, I had a year of focusing on taking action outside my comfort zone and another year it was about building relationships and connections. What will be your theme this year?

2.  Set Boundaries.

This one is for you if you have found yourself consistently working longer and longer hours. All of us know that we will need to put in some extra hours from time to time, but when it becomes the norm we have let it go too far.

I recently worked with a client whose average working day had stretched out to be more than 12 hours EVERY day. Her health was suffering, and she was beginning to resent the fact that she was spending so little time with her family. By simply setting some personal boundaries, identifying some opportunities to maximise her efforts and saying NO to the extra tasks that were not her responsibility, she reclaimed more than two hours a day of personal time.

3. Commit to working smarter not harder.

No matter how you juggle your schedule, the number of hours in the day will always remain the same. But it is possible to adjust your habits to create more time for the things that matter most.

Working smarter starts with planning regularly, carving out specific time in your diary for the bigger, more strategic tasks to be completed at your most productive time of the day and to delegate those tasks that don’t need to be done specifically by you.

 4. Focus on your strengths.

Ask yourself, are you working to your strengths or has your role morphed into a bunch of tasks that do not capitalise on what you do best? When you work to your strengths you are much more likely to enjoy the work you do and produce much better results to boot!

5. Strengthen your working relationships.

For many people the quality of their working relationships determine the degree of job satisfaction. And like any type of relationship… this takes some work. It is about staying connected, adding value, collaborating and supporting others to meet common goals.

6. Focus on your personal wellbeing. There is a growing mountain of research that points to the value of focusing on healthy eating, making time for exercise and taking time out to still the mind through meditation or mindfulness. It is hard to be at your best at work while also having energy for an active and fulfilling life outside of work, if you are not taking care of your heath.

7. Set an end point.

If, after all of this, you are still struggling to find enjoyment and fulfilment at work, then perhaps it is time to take the plunge and go after something new. Life is too short to spend most of your waking hours stuck in a job that does not “float your boat.” 

Commit now to an end point, a date by which time you will either have found a way to re-ignite your career mojo or to move on!

Now it is over to you. 

If you have been hit by the back-to-work-blues and are struggling to get fired up and motivated for another year, then it is time to do things differently. Without change you are destined for more of the same. So, go out and do what it takes to re-ignite the spark for more enjoyment and fulfilment in your work.

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

New Year. New Job. The 5 steps to take before you apply for anything.

New Year. New Job. The 5 steps to take before you apply for anything.

Over the summer break, you’ve had time to reflect, particularly in light of the impact of COVID-19 during the past year. Perhaps you’ve had the opportunity to see yourself, your career, and your priorities through a different lens, and now you are ready to embrace change that utilises your greatest strengths. Good for you!

Perhaps you’re looking for greater job satisfaction, more work-life balance, better compensation that’s aligned with your skills, a healthy corporate culture, more variety, 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.

This is not about identifying a job title. The world of work and how we work is changing so rapidly right now it’s likely the title for your next role hasn’t even been dreamed up.

Start with what you know you do want, and who you want to be.

What kind of impact do you want to make? What lights you up? 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?  What types of activities do you enjoy and will help you to achieve the above each day?


2. 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 certain tasks or a 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 that was 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?

3. 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.

4. 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?

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.

5. 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.

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

Why the art of decision making is critical to your leadership

Why the art of decision making is critical to your leadership.

One of the primary differences between a mid-level leader and a senior leader is the size and number of decisions they need to make in a day.  As we progress and grow as leaders we will be called upon to make more decision more often with ever increasing impact.

So, becoming comfortable with and being seen to be a strong, decisive decision maker is a critical factor in establishing our leadership credibility.

A quick and well thought through decision backed by logic, gut instinct and taking personal responsibility for whatever the outcome will be, can boost our professional standing in the eyes of those around us.

Appearing indecisive, on the other hand, tends to leave an impression of doubt and lack of confidence, and our capabilities and experience can come into question. Add to that the personal frustration, energy and time that goes along with a protracted decision-making process, indecisiveness is rarely seen as a positive professional attribute.

A 2014 study of 6500 workers found that decisiveness was one of the top three skills sets that make the biggest impact on helping leaders to build credibility. (The other 2 skills sets were open communication and personal presence).

So, clearly, it’s an important leadership quality.

As someone who for many years agonised over even quite simple decisions, I can see now how my old habits and indecisive ways held me back.  I’m sure at times my team watched as I dithered and procrastinated. I often caused projects to be delayed as I struggled to make key decisions. Or even worse… I failed to make any decision at all… leaving good ideas languishing. 

How would you rate your decision-making skills?

    • Do you have unshakeable confidence when making the big calls required of you within your role?
    • Do you agonise over decisions, taking way longer than you would like?
    • Do you get stuck in a cycle of seeking input, collaboration and agreement hoping to make everyone happy even when you know it’s not possible?

Making difficult decisions is what we look to leaders to do.

We expect our leaders to have the courage and confidence to make the tough decision, give direction and take responsibility for it.

Here are 5 keys to becoming a more decisive decision maker

1. Take a balanced view. 

Our natural tendency can often be to look at what can go wrong or the risks associated with a decision. Make sure you are taking a balanced view considering not only what can go wrong but also what the benefits of a decision could be.

Often when I’m procrastinating over a decision I like to call in my good friend Richard Branson. He suggests asking, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” And “if that happened, could I handle it?” Almost always the answer is YES.

2. Embrace uncertainty.

Indecisiveness is often a result of wanting to be certain about the outcome. Looking for certainty is nothing short of torturous… because it can never be achieved! You can only be certain of an outcome once a decision has been made and action is taken.

Learn to make decisions based on the information you have on hand. A timely decision made with confidence and based on experience will almost always trump one that’s perceived to be slow and indecisive. 

3. Engage stakeholders.

This is all about getting buy in and discovering issues you may have been unaware of. But ladies, we need to be careful not to overdo this one. We have a tendency to want to consult and to get consensus from the team. Don’t over play this behaviour or you could be perceived as indecisive or lacking confidence. There comes a time when you quite simply have to move on from the fact finding and collaboration phase and make a decision!

4. Use your internal GPS.

Trust your intuition and your internal knowing. Over the years you have built up a wealth of experience and knowledge, which fuels our internal GPS. Trust it. It’s what allows us to make reliable, quick decisions when we take the time to listen. Your gut instincts will be right way more often than you think.

5. Own it.

Once you make a decision, own it! Speak of your decision with confidence and conviction. Follow through with bold courageous action. No flip flopping or second guessing your decision once it has been made.

And most importantly you must own the outcome… good or bad.

Could you be more decisive?

Reflect on the decisions you currently have on your plate right now. Could you be more decisive in your decision making?

Yes, it’s important to listen, gather critical information, and weigh up the options but without a decisive decision all this good work could go to waste.  Your leadership credibility and reputation is at stake.

Make decisions with confidence and courage, take action and move on to the next big decision.

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

Hard work and good results are not enough

Hard work and good results are not enough.

If your career progress has stalled it may well be time to focus on raising your visibility. You are unlikely to have the type of impact you want to have or to get recognised for the work you do – if no one knows who you are, what you do and how well you do it.

Whether it’s raising your profile within your industry, speaking up in meetings or promoting your achievements – they are all part of stepping up as a leader. 

If you are being overlooked, there is a fair chance that you don’t need to improve your job performance, learn any new skills or achieve bigger results to land your ideal project or position. 

You already know enough! You are experienced in what you do and have the results to prove it.

At this level of leadership – hard work and results are not enough.

A strong professional profile is key. And this requires being well known and visible.

But many women struggle with raising their visibility. Perhaps this stems from the behaviours that are encouraged in our early years. Little girls are praised for being good and for being seen and not heard. 

Throughout junior school years, girls get attention from the teacher by knuckling down and producing beautifully put together projects.

As we grow into mature young women with ambition, getting good results is our passport into the plum graduate roles.

So, it is no surprise that as adult women, we struggle with being seen. We work hard, follow the rules and get the job done, hoping that our efforts will be rewarded and recognised.

But… many learn the hard way; that corporate promotions don’t come purely through hard work. Those that stand out and grab attention are often the ones being rewarded.

So what is it that holds women back and has them shrinking from the spotlight?

The reasons are many and varied but generally fall within these categories:

      • Fear of being judged
      • Fear of failure (or of success)
      • Fear of standing out
      • Fear of revealing their true selves
      • Fear of rejection
      • Fear of not being good enough, smart enough, experienced enough.

The other objection I often hear women raise is that it feels inauthentic and out of character. They would never want to brag about their achievements, grandstand or play the political game.

They believe that their efforts and results should speak for themselves.

But here’s the truth. Your fear and discomfort associated with owning the spotlight is holding your back!

It’s time to get comfortable with raising your profile, speaking up, sharing your wins and getting yourself known. And of course, find a way that feels authentic to you.

Realise that you have true value to bring to the table. Be positive, excited and proud of the contributions you are making. Share your wins and acknowledge the progress you and your team are making.

Pay attention to the signals your body language is giving off. Do you own your space? Does your voice sound like that of a woman of influence not that of a shy young girl filled with doubt?

Build strategic relationships both internally and within your industry and make time to regularly touch base with those who support your work and can advocate for you.

Is there more that you can be doing to become visible?

Now is your time to step up, stand out and be seen.

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