Two years ago I made a change. I parked my styling business for a while and I became a salaried employee. I was tired, over it. Life was happening. It all felt too much. So I reckoned a change was as good as a holiday right? Yeah right ........
I was excited. Learning new skills. Meeting brilliant new people. Hell I even discovered I was pretty good at this new craft. I was working hard and having fun, until my values were compromised. And oh boy, they were massively compromised. I got upset. I was triggered. I'm an advocate for JUSTICE, hence the work I do on a voluntary basis with TRY Australia. The business I worked in did not practice what they preached. Being an advocate for justice, and exercising my value of COURAGE, I stood up, spoke up and left.
The next role I stepped into, a small family business. Once again I observed a values compromise. This time it was around FREEDOM. Staff silenced and not able to speak up. In a culture of control and blame, they feared for their jobs. Not one of them could tell me what the vision or values of the business were. Unaffected in the early weeks, I called it out for what it was. That was the beginning of my demise. COURAGE is in my top 3 values. I'm not afraid to say what needs to be said. You won't find me talking about you behind your back. I'll tell you straight and I'll let you know you may not like it.
I had my very own Mark Bouris moment "You're Fired". I felt amazingly calm. I didn't argue (I have been famous for that). I didn't defend what I was accused of. None of it was true. I took the high ground and expressed gratitude for the experience. Why? Because I learned something valuable about myself that day. I am an entrepreneur. I contribute to something bigger than myself. I create. I learn. I grow. I do. I take risks. I'm focused. I feel overwhelming love for my clients and the people in my life. I'm intuitive and I learn by my mistakes. I know this because I have lived experience and evidence. My clients choose to work with me because of WHO I am and WHAT I bring. I embrace my flaws. I honour and respect every decision I have ever made and I have immense gratitude for those who have retrenched me, divorced me and fired me. I'm clear that I have some wisdom to share in this space and this is my journey.
The mistake I made twice, was not doing my due diligence on the culture before signing up for the challenge. I got the learning. Twice, I failed to take responsibility and take the necessary action sooner.
My own experience got me thinking about how young emerging leaders manage change at work and at home. I started to talk to my clients and friends about what's going on for them. I notice a lot of people on social media misaligned with their branding. It's not because they don't want it. It has everything to do with the fact that they are not sure how and don't know where to start or who to trust out there.
I'm frustrated by that! That's why I created a new personal branding service for emerging female leaders. It is a beautiful union of aligning your leadership behaviours and personal styling. It’s about personal branding for emerging leaders. Who are you? How do you behave and look that forms your brand? What you communicate by how you behave, look and sound speaks volumes about you.
The courage and passion I have for empowering leaders to be the best they can be is unlimited. If you want to be taken seriously as a leader, it's time to step up now and align your branding. Make it easy for your client. Get clear!
I'm looking forward to sharing this journey with you.
- Assertiveness & Self-Confidence
- Emotional Intelligence
- Interpersonal Skills & Communication Strategies
- Personal Productivity
- Leadership & Influence
- Time Management
- Critical Thinking & Creative Problem Solving
- Negotiation Skills
- Business Etiquette
- Work Life Balance
- The Case for Soft Skills Training: Christopher E. Bush
- CNBC’s Jobs skills gap – the basics become a problem: Allen Wastler
- GMAC Corporate Recruiter’s Survey (2013)
- Addeco survey of 500 top executives (2013)
As you become wiser in years, your choice in clothing options may appear to become limited regardless of whether or not you have maintained a great figure. Women over 40 have an amazing energy and confidence that most 20 somethings would die for. A few things for you to become conscious of as you wisen up …..
1. Relax the black – As fabulous as it may have been in your 20’s and 30’s, black can appear a little harsh now. I’m not suggesting you toss it completely. It remains a classic option for some great pieces in your wardrobe. Now is the time to be more aware of the colours you wear close to your face. The harshness of black can emphasize signs of aging and tiredness, depending on how you wear it. You do have other options. Your personal stylist can help to ensure you don't become a slave to a colour wheel. There are new ways to learn your best colours now and you are smart enough to know when to seek help. Check in.
2. Wear a collar – A collared shirt will do wonders for a wiser jaw and neckline. It has the effect of providing some coverage for this area and creates the illusion of taking the eye up. The trick is to have the collar standing up at the back and gently slant the points down in front of your face.
3. Wear fabulous shoes – You know you can’t afford to compromise on this one. You don’t need several pairs that sit in the wardrobe any more. You need six to ten pairs of fabulous shoes that look stunning and feel fabulous. Master this and save your cash. Gel pads in your sandals are essential. They work.
4. Toss dated clothing – You have no option now but to keep yourself looking 100% current. Dated clothing zaps your confidence. This means that you just can’t wear that sundress that has been sitting in the wardrobe for the past 5 -10 years. Seriously, only classics last this long! Replace quality basics as they tire and inject 2-3 new pieces each season that work back with everything else. The best way to do this is with the assistance of a professional stylist.
6. Go long and lean – Employ some visual trickery to produce long, lean lines. Slim cut pant, a heel and a longer line top with flow just might work on you. Try it. Time to open your mind to something new.
7. Hoick em up – Consider the range of shapewear now available. Mother Nature always intended for us to get a little help here. Shapewear has come a long way. I think you will be impressed.
If this reasonates with you, hit the share button. Love to hear what you think!
Helen Robinett is a Melbourne Stylist helping business owners and executives to do more with less. She helps you define your style, simplifies the process and guides you to the right designers and boutiques to look after you.
How much influence does your team have?
They are highly educated and knowledgeable in their profession. Could use a little more polish and confidence. Here's the brief: "lacking confidence and presence".
Authenticity is about commercially smart people looking the part. It's not about pretending to be someone you are not.
We worked on five simple modules in a three hour session. The science of first impressions is important because it allows smart people to understand why soft skills such as personal branding and communication really matter. Gone are the days of this being a luxury. In 2014, it is an absolute necessity.
The live intervention with the business leader was a shining example of gaining some clarity on how it applies to an individual. Brave move!
The next module on quality opened up a conversation around the company brand and how as individuals we reflect those values. The discussion was robust and necessary. It was clear that there was work to be done here. They got it.
Today I made the follow up call to check in on the progress after our personal branding session a few weeks ago.
New work attire was purchased by some team members, others updated accessories that reflected the company’s branding and others simply polished their shoes.
They have supported each other in this change and that has impacted how they work together.
The business leader was wanted this program to provide a level of confidence and influence. He got it. Everything else is a bonus. Other business units are looking at them saying ‘Who ARE they?’ That’s the kind of PRESENCE you want to have in business!