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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

Why You Need A Professional Support Team

Why You Need A Professional Support Team.

More than ever, we need to be creating our very own professional support team.

With job descriptions asking more of us, days being fuller, aspirations getting bigger, and for some, COVID-19 requiring us to work without our team by our side, we could all use a helping hand (or three!)

I want to take this opportunity to ask you …

Are you calling on the support of others?

Or, are you doing it all alone?

As fiercely independent and successful women, we’ve prided ourselves on how much we can do and what we can achieve on our own

But just because we can do things on our own, doesn’t mean we have to, or should.

In fact, working with and being supported by others lightens the load, allows us to shine in our zone of genius, progresses us further AND makes work feel more enjoyable!

If you identify as being a woman who tends to ‘fly solo’, I want to offer you three ways you can begin to create your professional support team, and get the helping hand you deserve, today.

Quit being a lone ranger.

If you were to take a guess, how many times a week do you fall into the trap of doing it yourself rather than delegating the task or asking for support?

Do you chair every meeting?

Are you the first to put your hand up to say yes?

Do you respond to emails that someone else could?

Do you hold the entire load of projects on your shoulders?

If you’re sitting there nodding your head, know that you’re not alone!

BUT, I want you to begin to notice when you’re trying to do everything on your own – because self awareness is the first step towards change!

While I have no doubt that you’re doing a great job, you don’t have to be a lone ranger.

Women are notoriously bad at asking for help – and on the flipside of this, notoriously good at doing a great job at doing it all.

But working this way isn’t sustainable, and it doesn’t get you seen as a highly competent leader.  

Consider:

Why do I choose to work as a lone ranger?

How is this harming me, my career and the development of my team?

Share the load and ask for help

In order to progress our careers, we have to share the load and ask for help.

You cannot have one without the other – not in the long run anyway!

Asking for support doesn’t make you incompetent or incapable. In fact it’s the complete opposite – asking for support is the sign of a great leader!

There’s two very important points I want to make here:

    • Sometimes as women we OVER FUNCTION which allows everyone around us to UNDER FUNCTION. This isn’t fair to you, or to them! We teach people how to treat us, what to expect of us, and what we expect of them. What message are you sending?
    • A key point of sharing the load and asking for help is accepting that others may not do things how you would – and this is okay! Different does NOT equal bad!

Want to dive more deeply into this topic of sharing the load? 

I wrote this article for you here!

Consider: 

What tasks and responsibilities am I doing that someone else could?

Who else in my team could lend a hand?

How is my tendency to do it all, a disservice to myself and others?

Know that you are worthy

The issue of worthiness comes up with many of the women I work with.

Feeling unworthy leads to them overworking, trying to do it all and being perfectionists.

I want to remind you that you ARE worthy. Simply by being yourself, you are intrinsically worthy.

You are worthy of recognition.

You are worthy of investing in yourself.

And most of all – you are worthy of having the very best support team around you!

Women who feel worthy aren’t afraid to ask to have their needs met and put their hand up for help.  

Whether it’s a cleaner to keep the house in order, a personal trainer to keep their body in shape, a mentor to stretch their thinking or a team of A players to carry the load – their support team is essential to their professional growth, success and sanity. 

They’re happier and healthier for it, and more successful because of it.

Consider: 

Do you feel worthy of being fully supported?

What type of support would be most beneficial right now to assist you to achieve your professional goals? 

I want to hear from you! 

Please pop on over to our free Facebook Group for mid career professional women, share your experience and join in the conversation! 

Let us be a powerful element of your professional support team!

See you in the group!

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 Perfectionism is a Problem (and what to do about it!)

WHY PERFECTIONISM IS A PROBLEM (AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT!)

All of the mid career women leaders I meet want to do a great job. 

The trouble is, many of them think that a great job = a perfect job.

And while intentionally created, high quality work is a must, perfect work can do more harm than good.

Here’s how …

Striving for perfectionism creates stress and sucks the joy out of working.

Although having meticulous attention to detail is an asset, most perfectionists will tell you that they would actually prefer to not be so fixated on achieving a ‘perfect’ end goal. 

Why? 

Because rather than tasks and projects feeling like enjoyable creative endeavours, striving for perfectionism turns them into stressful, overwhelming and energy sucking to-do’s.

Not fun – and I truly believe that work should be enjoyable and rewarding!

You’re going round in circles, striving for an unattainable goal.

Judging something as ‘perfect’ is 100% subjective which ultimately means that ‘perfect’ doesn’t exist! We are all unique humans, who have our own special perspectives, ideas and outlooks, and what you and your boss/colleagues/team label as ‘perfect’ will always be different. 

You’re never going to be able to please everyone … but if you’re striving for perfection, you may just send yourself crazy trying!

It slows you down. A LOT.

Most of the perfectionists I support admit to getting things done more slowly than they should. Not because they’re lazy, but because they’re investing so. much. time into getting every minute detail exactly right. 

It gives you a bad reputation.

Because perfectionists typically work slower, they have a tendency to not get things done on time. Sometimes, they don’t even get things finished at all! This isn’t a good look and it definitely isn’t going to get you seen (well, not for the right reasons anyway!)

As well as this, although perfectionists tend to look busy, they’re not actually being effective. Working effectively is what I call Queen Bee work, and it’s this work that gets women recognised and promoted for getting the work that matters out there in the world.

So, what to actually do about your perfectionism?

You switch your focus. 

My mantra is – PROGRESS OVER PERFECTION.

PROGRESS is what will move the dial on the work that matters and get you seen and celebrated for the incredible asset you are.

Progress looks like:

      • Putting clear project timelines in place, and sticking to them
      • Shifting your standards from 100% perfection to 80% excellence (for all but the most critical task like board reports!)
      • Coming back to the big organisational picture when perfectionism tries to rear it’s unhelpful head
      • Striving to produce great work, not perfect work (remember, it doesn’t exist!)
      • Speaking kindly to yourself (because perfectionism can say some pretty nasty things)
      • Seeing your projects as fun and enjoyable creative endeavours, not simply tasks to tick off a list
      • Asking for help if you need it! No-one expects you to be Super Woman, and teams are there to support one another!

More than anything though, I want you to ask yourself, “WHY do I strive for perfection?”

It’s all good and well to have strategies in place, but if you can get to the root cause and the WHY behind your perfectionism, these strategies are more likely to stick.

Keen to chat more about how to become a recovering perfectionist, by shifting your focus to progress over perfection? Come and join me in my free Facebook group for mid career professional women. Click here to join!

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 You Need to Create Space to Think (Not Just Do)

WHY YOU NEED TO CREATE SPACE TO THINK (NOT JUST DO)

Leaders are paid to think, not just do.

In fact, thinking is what I like to call Queen Bee work, whereas when you are stuck deep in the doing… that’s Busy Bee work.  

Let me clarify further …

The Busy Bee is a ‘do-er’. She is often run off her feet with a jam-packed calendar that barely allows her room to breathe, let alone room to think strategically, take a ‘big picture’ focus and lead her team. She is juggling a million tasks and being busy, but not necessarily being productive.

The Queen Bee is a leader. She is working at a strategic level and bringing about high level improvement, change and growth to her organisation. She is focussed, intentional and highly effective. She is moving the business forward and being recognised for doing so. 

Thinking work – Queen Bee work – is the work that gets you recognised, rewarded and promoted (which I know is what you want!)

Yes, an innovative and effective workplace needs both thinkers AND do-ers – but it’s the thinkers that get seen, recognised for their high level visionary work and ultimately, paid more.

Do you feel stuck at the middle management level? 

If so, I want you to consider what you’re doing more of – doing or thinking?

As a society, we’ve been told that action steps and tangible outcomes are more worthwhile, which is why many women think that this is the kind of work they need to do in order to move-on-up in their organisation.

But it’s not!

While doing actions are important, your organisation cannot grow if it doesn’t have leaders at its helm who are thinking about the big picture. In fact, there are no successful businesses without leaders who lead. 

That’s where you come in!

I know it can feel ‘lazy’ and ‘time wasting’ to put an hour aside to think (it’s not by the way!) 

BUT trust me when I say that it’s in this space that your greatest ideas will come to you, and that it’s these ideas that will take you to the next level in your career journey.

The key is to start creating space to think and prioritise the work that requires you to think deeply, creatively or strategically. It’s time to get out of the endless cycle of doing. 

“So what does ‘thinking work’ actually look like on a practical level Jane?”

Great question! It looks like you:

    • Creating white space in your calendar to put on your leadership hat, get out of the doing rat race and see opportunities for change and expansion (I’ve written some great suggestions for how to do this here)
    • Surrounding yourself with other inspiring Queen Bees who are thinking strategically and coming up with transformational big picture ideas in their own workplaces
    • Seeking to solve problems, rather than simply offering short term band-aid solutions
    • Designing strategies that will more your corner of the business forward, rather than focussing solely on the present and getting caught up in the day-to-day
    • Mentoring and upskilling your team, so you can all expand, become A players and support one another (and therefore your workplace!) to rise.  You need your team to step up to allow you the space to think

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 Ways You Can Start Leading Your Way, Now.

5 WAYS YOU CAN START LEADING YOUR WAY, NOW.

As I shared in this article, the number one thing you need to do to be a great leader and advance your career in 2021, is to show your true self. 

Now, as great as this is for us ladies, my guess is that some of you are sitting at home thinking, ‘Yes Jane, but that’s easier said than done. How do I show more of my true self?’

Today I want to share 5 practical ways you can step more fully into your true self, so you can lead in a way that works for you (and therefore feels easy, elegant and enjoyable!)

Before I jump in though, I want to acknowledge the fact that stepping into your own leadership style, and leading your way, can sometimes feel uncomfortable and (let’s be honest) scary.

It takes courage to step outside the traditional leadership mold – even if it is outdated – and be ourselves.

It takes bravery to show up, instead of flying under the radar, and allow our colleagues and staff to get to know the real us. 

It takes guts to lead OUR way, and let go of the pressure we feel to be someone we’re not (like being assertive when that’s just not in our DNA!)

The simple fact that you’re here with me right now, reading these words, shows me just how great a leader you truly are. That you’re willing to embrace these challenges, so you can lead in a way that compliments who you truly are, rather than ticks the boxes of who you think you need to be, is cause for celebration.

Now, let’s get practical, shall we…

Here are 5 ways you can start leading your way – today!

1. Be you

I want you to repeat after me, ‘I am enough’. 

‘I AM ENOUGH’.

You are valuable, and you are who you are truly meant to be, just as you are. The more you can bring your true character into your workplace, the more people will be able to get to know you, like you and trust you. 

Do you have a quirky side? Let your team see it! Do your loved ones describe you as ‘real’ and ‘down to earth’? Let it shine through! The more YOU you can be, the better!

Consider: What makes you, you? How can you be more of your true self in your workplace?  

2. Model wisely

Having role models is very important as a leader BUT you need to choose the right ones for you.

Don’t just model the leader you report to, or your CEO – model the leader you look up to and whose leadership style resonates with how you want to lead. 

Consider: What leadership traits do you admire and respect?

3. Mix and match

Because everyone is different and no one role model will ever have all the traits we ourselves aspire to have, it helps to mix and match and have a number of people we can look up to.

Perhaps you admire how your Manager speaks up in meetings, or how your past employer would create space to think and reflect before she responded to a complex situation. 

Consider: Which 6 leaders do you look up to? What traits of theirs do you admire?

5. Have the courage to lead

It’s your time to really believe in yourself, step forward and take up more space in your workplace. No more hiding and no more dulling your light. So many opportunities will reveal themselves to you when you have the courage to be seen and lead.

Consider: How can you allow yourself to be seen more in your workplace?

6. Own it

Own your greatness, claim your space (in your workplace and in this world) and give yourself full permission to lead YOUR way. You deserve to lead, just as much as the next person. Now is your time! 

Consider: What are 5 of your greatest qualities as a human, and as a leader?


Ladies, no more being who you think you need to be in order to lead! It’s time to lead in a way that compliments who you truly are. 

P.S. Know that I’m over here cheering you on – and that constant cheering and encouragement is always available to you in our free Facebook Group. This group is specifically for mid career professional women. If that’s you – we’d love to have you join the conversation.

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

The number 1 thing you need to do to be a great leader and advance your career in 2021

The number 1 thing you need to do to be a great leader and advance your career in 2021

Like most mid-career professional women, I think it’s pretty safe to assume that 2020 created huge disruptions and upheavals in your life.

Perhaps you went from working in the office, to working at home sharing a space with kids and other family members.

Maybe you had to increase your capacity to hold space for the complex emotions of your staff and colleagues? No doubt you had to support them to sit with uncertainty and fear too!

And it’s likely you had to step up, and be even more adaptable, strategic and forward thinking.

What made a great leader led prior to 2021, is likely to be vastly different to how your workplace needs you to lead now. What worked in the past simply won’t be the way going forward. 

Given this shift, here’s the NUMBER 1 thing you need to do to be a great leader, support your organisation to grow and progress your career in 2021.

Show more of your true self.

Do you feel like 2020 asked to take your mask off and be more yourself?

Times are changing and the women we thought we had to be in order to be seen, progress our careers and break through into our next level of leadership, impact and recognition, was thrown out the window.

As a leader in 2021, your workplace needs you to be more YOU, not who you think you need to be in order to get seen and succeed. In fact in 2021, being YOU is the key to fast tracking your professional progress!

Why? Because people are craving depth and more ‘realness’ in the workplace. 2020 brought everyone’s humanness to the forefront and now, people are needing and expecting this more than ever.

As well as this, being your true self by expressing emotions like vulnerability and authenticity are a must going forward. 

As I shared in this article, many corporate environments in the past, made us believe that emotions didn’t belong at work, and should be suppressed and pushed below the surface.

But this simply isn’t true – especially in 2021.

Emotions like vulnerability and authenticity are anything but weak, and they’re not inappropriate or something to be ashamed of. 

2020 was a watershed moment that woke everyone up and in this waking, the human side of leadership came to be encouraged, embraced and celebrated.

Now is your time to infuse more of YOU into your workplace, and step up as an empowered feminine leader who is comfortable expressing yourself openly, vulnerably and authentically.


As I share in Ignite – our 8 week group online program for mid career women, 2021 truly is your time to lead your way. 

No more feeling like a ‘square peg in a round hole’ in your workplace, and no more trying to emulate an out-of-date version of what a good leader was. 

What your career needs, in order for it to progress, and your organisation needs in order for it to grow, is for you to own your uniqueness and lead in a way that feels true to you.

Never has there been a better time to fully step into your feminine power and lead in a way that feels right for you! You’ve got this!

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

5 Rules You Need To Break.

5 Rules You Need To Break

We learn early on in life the rules we need to follow to stay safe, be liked and to get ahead. 

But many of the rules we learned growing up as little girls and young women were not designed to develop courageous leadership. Many of us were taught to be good girls, to play nice and work hard. These rules work well in the early years but, as you progress in your career and take on more of a leadership role, some of these rules will most certainly hold you back. 

So, here are my top 5 rules to break. 

 1. Saying yes all of the time. 

Saying NO creates the space to say YES to the perfect opportunities that come your way.  

In the beginning of your career, success is about saying yes to pretty much everything. But you cannot continue to say yes… you will end up burnt out or in a job you no longer love.  

There comes a time when you must focus your time and energy on the activities and tasks that will allow you to step up to the next level of leadership. 

 2. Waiting for permission. 

Most of us have been taught to follow instructions, stick to the plan we are given and to act like good girls. This rule was definitely made to be broken.  

Make the decision today to stop waiting for an invitation to lead. Go out and be seen for the leader you truly are. Make decisions, take action and lead from the front. 

3.  Needing the entire plan before you begin. 

Decide today to set a goal and take action. Do not wait to know every step for now. Do not wait until your plan is perfect to get started. Its only once you take the first step that the plan will unfold before you. And the beautiful thing is, the richest opportunities are hidden within the unexpected twists and turns that come after you get into momentum. 

 4. Not sharing what you think. 

Speak up and share your opinion and your ideas. Sitting silently through meetings will not serve you well. How can you be of influence or have an impact if you do not share your brilliance? 

Stop being afraid that not everyone will like what you say. You are not a leader if you are not sharing your thoughts and saying what you think. 

5. Fixing your weaknesses while ignoring your strengths. 

Throughout our early years there is a focus on fixing our weakness. For me that meant plenty of feedback and extra classes to overcome my struggles with spelling. (Clearly it didn’t work given this continues to be a major challenge!)  

Now is the time to switch your focus to your strengths and align your career with the type of work that comes easily to you and that you do best.   

Focusing on your strengths will bring way more joy, job satisfaction and allow you to achieve the results you are truly capable of. 

Which of these rules do you need to break today? Don’t wait for permission.  Just do it!

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

Business Acumen: The key to career advancement

Business Acumen: The key to career advancement

 

Have you ever wondered what it is that you need to do to transition from middle management to a more senior role? You work hard, you do great work, your team like you but still you are being passed over and senior roles remain elusive.

And clearly the statistics confirm you are not alone in this struggle.

Women represent about 50% of middle management and professional positions, but the percentage of women at the top has stagnated below 20%.

We know that organisations with significant representation of women at the top do better than those that don’t. We know that more and more women want to take a seat at the leadership table. But still women struggle to make their mark in the type of numbers that will really make a difference.

So what’s going wrong?

Obviously there’s no one simple answer to this complex question. There’s work to be done to minimise unconscious bias. There’s work to be done nurturing the pipeline of talent. There’s work to be done to make it more appealing for women to participate more fully at the top.

And there’s no shortage of advice being offered to help women create change at a personal level.  This advice includes being more assertive, acting with confidence, speaking up, taking bolder career choices and expanding their network.

These are all important and I share this exact same advice often with the women I work with… however, it’s not enough.

The difference between languishing in middle management and being considered for the top roles is... business acumen

But many women are failing to focus on building business, strategic and financial acumen.

Why are so many women missing this point?

It’s not because we don’t have or can’t develop business, strategic and financial acumen. It has more to do with the fact that very few women are clearly told how essential these skills are for reaching the top.

For some reason it’s assumed that we already know how.

Susan Colantuon in her TED Talk: The career advice you probably didn’t get, suggests that it’s a basic expectation by senior leaders.

However, when Susan asked an audience of 150 women “How many of you have ever been told that the door-opener for career advancement is your business, strategic and financial acumen, and that all the other important stuff is what differentiates you in the talent pool?” only three women raised their hand.

It’s clear it’s something we need to give more focus to.

How to demonstrate business acumen

1. Learn to love the numbers. Never undermine your credibility as a leader by demonstrating your lack of financial acumen. Learn about the numbers and speak about them in a way that demonstrates your depth of knowledge. Identify and focus on the key metrics and embrace financial knowledge as a major part of your strategic decision-making.

2. Focus on what matters most. As a leader, you must focus on what matters most to the organisation. Too often I see women getting bogged down into the day to day busyness and losing sight of how they are contributing to achieving the strategic business objectives.

Prioritise your diary to allow time each week to focus your energy on those activities that will move you and the business closer to achieving the results that matter.

3.  Develop your strategic thinking. Remember that your high-level technical skills do not necessarily translate into being seen as a leader. To be considered for the next high-level leadership opportunity you need to demonstrate big picture thinking.

You must have a broad awareness of the organisation, an understanding of the strategic direction and the ability to see opportunities, innovate and make strategic decisions.

Ask yourself:

Are you consistently demonstrating your financial, strategic and business acumen?

  • Do you understand where your organisation is going?
  • Do you know what the over arching business strategy is?
  • Are you clear on what the financial targets are?
  • Do you understand your role in moving the organisation forward?
  • Are you demonstrating your potential for leading the business, not just leading the people?

To close the gender gap at the top, we need to build business acumen.

We must focus more on developing and demonstrating our understanding of business financials, know where the business is heading, and clearly align our day to day activities to delivering the business imperatives.

Get out there. Get strategic. Focus on what matters most. And open the door to your career advancement by demonstrating your business acumen.

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

Are you playing the game by the rules?

Are you playing the game by the rules?

Are you playing the game? Do you even know the rules? 

The game of career success within the corporate environment is run by some very subtle but very important rules. If you have felt that your progress has been blocked leaving you feeling stuck and disillusioned it may be because you have neglected the rules.

But it’s not your fault.

No one ever mentioned that there were rules to play by!

Many corporate cultures continue to be dominated by a masculine paradigm and the old boys network. Lets face it; it has only been in recent years that women have entered this space in large numbers. Big business was created by men and continues to be dominated by men. It should then not come as any surprise to us that the guiding principles that underpin large organisations continue to be masculine in nature.

What this means is that success is viewed in a primarily masculine framework where position, power and results are paramount and the generally held ideals for leadership qualities such as assertiveness, decisiveness and being goal driven are recognised and rewarded more often.

This is not about fixing women and hating men!

My passion and mission is to help more and more women gain a seat at the leadership table and for more men and women to work side by side, bringing a shift in our corporate culture. We need both to achieve the best results, to create engaging and harmonious working environments and capitalize on all the talent that is available.

It’s about bringing diversity of thought to the decision making table.

A recent study by Credit Suisse where they examined the performance of 3000 companies in 40 markets over 9 years found that companies where women occupied half of the top jobs did 50% better than those that didn’t.

So… we really do need to harness the power of women!  But first we need to be taught the rules so we can play the game, to have more influence and to path your way to advancement.

Here are just a few of the rules to be mindful of and to master if you want to increase your influence and impact.

1.  It’s Not About The Work

As women many of us have been conditioned through our school years and early years of employment to believe that if we work hard and do good work that we will be rewarded. Not True!

Working hard and getting results will get you through the door but its your power and influence and your ability to connect with the people with power and influence that will help those results to be recognised, celebrated and ultimately rewarded by things like promotions.

So ladies, stop putting in hours and hours of work to make your presentations or reports 5% better.   Focusing that time instead on understanding the power dynamics within your organisation will get you so much further.

2.  Have an opinion

You will never earn the respect of the boys network if you are uncertain, wishy washy and remain firmly planted on the fence. It’s time to take a position and own it. Having an opinion and being willing to defend that position is really important when it comes to gaining respect of your peers and influencing up.

And be willing to engage in the moment and speak up in meetings. I hear from many women who feel like their ideas are brushed over or the conversation moves too fast to get their opinion heard. The secret here is to be intentional about the way you show up at meetings.

One woman who I have worked with admitted that she rarely spoke up in meetings. By simply going into each meeting with the intention of speaking up just once each meeting has changed the influence she has within the team and has ultimately resulted in a promotion.

3.  Language is power

Our language is powerful but sometimes we undermine our own worth by the words we use. To position yourself as a strategic partner it’s paramount that you deliver your ideas with power and certainty.

For example: Replace “I think this might work” with “I recommend….”

By voicing your ideas with strength, certainty and authority you will position yourself as an expert and a problem solver. Allow your voice to be heard and own your opinion in your unique authentic way.

4.  Be Bold

Fortune favours the bold! Be bold when it comes to accepting career opportunities. Did you know that studies have shown that men will accept a new role provided they believe they can fulfil about 60% of the requirements where as women will wait until they believe they can satisfy closer to 90% of the requirement?

Ladies it is time to step boldly into job opportunities as they come up. Say yes and then work our how. Surround yourself with a team of people who can support your transition and learning and trust that you would not have been considered for the role if others didn’t think you were capable.

Unfortunately every time you say NO to an opportunity you are sending a signal that you are not capable or interested in promotion.

The evidence is clear.

We require more women to be working side by side with men to promote thriving workplaces.   By understanding the unspoken rules that currently dominate many organizations, we can become part of the game. Eventually with more women participating at the highest level we will gradually change the game but right now we need to be playing by the rules to advance in greater numbers.

NEXT STEPS?

If you like what you have read, Click HERE  and pop your name and email into the boxes and come join this growing community of extraordinary, passionate, down to earth women just like you who are committed to finding their place at the leadership table.

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