5 Signs You’re a Brave Leader

5 Signs You’re a Brave Leader

The leaders who get the best results and achieve their goals are brave, even when times are tough. But bravery isn’t just about doing heroic things all the time; being vulnerable and other behaviours and attitudes are just as brave, so here are five signs that you’ve been a brave leader all along!

1.    You take responsibility & don’t blame others

Brave leaders are those who put their hand up and take responsibility for things, good or bad. They don’t throw anyone under the bus or try to shift blame; that’s what cowards do! Upper management will also appreciate this quality, so you’re showing your bravery by doing this.

2. You always act with integrity – no matter what

Leaders who act with integrity are especially great leaders because they do the right thing even when there is no one watching. People will see your reliability and trustworthiness when they know you’ll do what you say you will, and when you said you’d do it. Holding yourself accountable and sticking to commitments is one of the marks of an effective and brave leader.

3. You recognise loyalty & are loyal yourself

Being loyal to your team and your organisation as a whole may seem like an obvious sign, but if you’re loyal even when times are tough, that’s when you’re the bravest.

Recognising and appreciating loyalty is also brave; it takes courage to stand up for those who have stood by you, and showing appreciation in this way makes your relationship stronger as well.

4. You lead by example

Following on from having integrity (like we mentioned in point two) is leading by example and taking charge. Of course, leaders should delegate and instruct their team, but unless you’re doing as you say, you’re being hypocritical and that can lose you a lot of respect. Leading by example might not be noticed as quickly as other traits or behaviours, but you’ll continue being a brave leader if you keep doing what you know needs to be done, and doing it the same way you asked your team to do it.

5. You never give up, thanks to your sense of duty

Taking the easy way out by giving up and quitting is a sign of weakness, especially in leaders, because brave leaders feel a sense of duty to get the task done no matter what. Even if the job has a big chance of not being successful, or not being up to a high standard, your sense of duty means you’ll still do your very best. Brave leaders must have this quality, and it motivates your team when they look to you for guidance and see that you’re still forging ahead, despite reservations.

Hopefully, you see a few, if not all, of these signs in yourself as a leader. Either way, it gives you something to strive for and reflect on, which great leaders are always doing. Bravery isn’t always heroics, sometimes just being loyal and working hard makes you brave. Brave leaders are the ones that go on to achieve great things, so start practising being brave now!

If you truly want to be brave in 2019 – join The Leadership Collective or brave Summit today

Top Companies are Still Lacking Women in Top Leadership

Top Companies are Still Lacking Women in Top Leadership

I’m all about helping people, especially women, reach their full potential as authentic leaders – as you’ve probably noticed by now! It’s a subject close to my heart, and when I saw that there are only 14 women chief executives at the helm of the top 200 companies, and 24 women CFOs, it gave me the push to start my brave program and conference for women leaders (to find out more about brave click here at https://leadershiphq.com.au/brave/)

It’s incredible in this day and age that there are 23 companies in the ASX200 without any women as top leaders! This is according to the CEW ASX200 Senior Executive Census from this year. The number has gone down; it was 41 companies last year! But 23 is still an unacceptable number.

The Census doesn’t look at women on company boards (which is another issue I’m incredibly passionate about) so for now we’ll be focusing on chief executive positions and companies that are missing women in those roles.

Have a look at these key stats from this year and last year:

The number of ASX200 female CEOs:

2017 – 11

2018 – 14

The number of ASX200 female CFOs:

2017 – 17

2018 – 24

Number of companies with no female representation in their executive leadership teams:

2017 – 41

2018 – 23

Number of women in the ASX200 executive leadership teams:

2017 – 381

2018 – 430

Number of men in the ASX200 Executive Leadership Teams:

2017 – 1423

2018 – 1428

Shocking, isn’t it?? 1428 men and only 430 women! We still have so far to go in terms of equality, even though we’ve come a long way already.

Here are just some of the companies that don’t have any women in their executive leadership teams (we can help!):

  • ARB Corporation Limited
  • Evolution Mining
  • James Hardie Industries
  • JB Hi-Fi
  • Pilbara Minerals
  • Shopping Centres Australasia Property Group
  • Washington H Soul Pattinson & Company
  • Whitehaven Coal

That’s just a sample! Isn’t it terrible that so many big companies are missing women at the top?

All companies needing to be focused on placing women into the important line roles, roles that have a direct effect on commercial outcomes, like being the head of a business unit or a COO. 78% of the 23 CEOs appointed this year (up until August) were those who held these sorts of line roles – and 88% of lines roles are held by men, which is hardly surprising.

Companies without women in lines roles have reduced from 63% last year to 59%, and shows the slow change towards equality in top leadership roles. I will continue doing my part to inspire women and give them the tools they need to take charge and ROCK their positions, to get to the leadership roles they deserve!

I’m finishing this blog with a shout out to the 14 female CEOs listed in the ASX200. You ladies ROCK IT! And kudos to your companies for working towards equality in the workforce!

  • Mirvac’s Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz
  • Fortescue Metals’ Elizabeth Gaines
  • REA’s Tracey Fellows
  • Harvey Norman’s Katie Page
  • The A2 Milk Company’s Jayne Hrdlicka
  • Coca-Cola Amatil’s Alison Watkins
  • Incitec Pivot’s Jeanne Johns
  • Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s Marnie Baker
  • Viva Energy’s Margaret Kennedy
  • Chorus’s Kate McKenzie
  • Estia Health’s Norah Kathleen Barlow
  • Lynas Corporation’s Amanda Lacaze
  • Ausdrill’s Theresa Mlikota
  • Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia’s Georgette Nicholas

 

About the Author Sonia McDonald

Sonia loves to build and develop future CEO’s, Leaders and Entrepreneurs. Sonia McDonald, CEO & Founder of LeadershipHQ; is an Entrepreneur, Thought Leader, Dynamic Keynote Speaker, Leadership Coach and Author of Leadership Attitude and Just Rock It!. Sonia McDonald was recently named in the Top 250 Influential Women across the Globe and Top 100 Australian Entrepreneurs by Richtopia. She is one of Australia’s Leading Leadership Executive Coaches, Advisors and Keynote Speakers. Her passions are coaching, keynote speaking as well as leadership development and advising on boards.She loves to inspire & motivate leaders to think differently, be the best they can be & empower everyone to see themselves as leaders. She is making a difference. Her purpose is to build leadership capability, confidence and leadership attitude across the Globe.

She has over 25 years’ human resource management, leadership and organisational development experience. She has held senior leadership roles in organisational development, learning and development, human resources and talent management fields across the Globe. She is passionate about cutting edge research and consulting in her industry as well as innovative tools and strategies around Leadership, Organisational Development, Neuroscience and Diversity.

Sonia’s expertise in organisational development, learning & development, facilitating, and leadership development makes her an excellent leader to partner with organisations and CEOs to ensure the full potential of their business is achieved through its people.

She is about RESULTS! Sonia has been published in The Australian, HRD Magazine, Business Insider, Business Woman’s Media, Style Magazine, Richtopia and Women in Focus. She is an inspirational and dynamic Leadership and Neuroscience Keynote Speaker. She will engage, educate and change the hearts and minds of your leaders and organisations.

Please contact Sonia here at http://soniamcdonald.com.au/ or http://leadershiphq.com.au/

5 Keys to Building Great Connections

5 Keys to Building Great Connections

The lifeblood of any successful career and business is in building great connections. Whether building new connections with potential clients or strengthening relationships with your existing network, making sure they are meaningful is essential to growing your business.

For extroverts, this is often second nature. But for many people, it can be quite challenging.

By using professional networks such as LinkedIn or Twitter, it can be easy to make an initial connection, but then to have virtually no direct contact for an extended period very quickly.

Think about your professional network, how many people have you not engaged with for well over a year?

Here are 5 keys to Building Great Connections:

1. Find a Way To Add Value

Instead of just sending random connection requests on LinkedIn, first, find a way to help that person. Take some time to work out what the potential contact’s concerns and wishes are. Then find a way you can offer a solution to their problem. It’s the perfect way to start a relationship which is a two-way street.

2. Ask Your Contact’s Opinions

Your contacts are part of your network for a reason, so be sure to reach out and take advantage of their wealth of knowledge and experience. Reach out to a contact when they may be able to assist, ask them about their life, and then be sure to thank them for their assistance.

3. Offer Professional Leads

If you hear of an opportunity which may be appropriate, let people in your network know. Rather than just jobs or referrals, focus on things like speaking opportunities, committees, special projects, and board positions. Also, offer to provide an introduction.

4. Keep Your Network Current

With LinkedIn, it is easier than ever to build a network of connections, fast, and develop a professional and modern business Rolodex. Instead of just connecting with people and disappearing, keep in touch through updates, sharing content, congratulating connections on their achievements, and furthering your connection network.

5. Make A Real And Genuine Connection

Watch my 2-minute YouTube video on Connection – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU8AZ4vStew

If you want your network to be made up of people who know you, like you, and trust you, then just sending a friend request, liking updates and posts, isn’t enough.

Introductions work best to make a real connection. Depending on what suits you – either online or offline is fine, but be sure to be genuine. Start with letting the contact know a little about you, and also provide them with some value in their life.

To further develop your business connections skills and connect with greatness, check out our Business & Leadership Coaching and Programs at LeadershipHQ.

Experience LeadershipHQ and you will leverage the best of the best in Leadership, Culture, and Business.

Stay tuned for our new program and group – The Business Collective in Brisbane. Register your interest HERE.

If you are looking to work with me Exclusively in my Coaching Program; please the Overview, Outcomes, and Bonuses HERE plus a FREE Career or Strategy Plan.

Women’s Leadership Brain – What do you think?

Women’s Leadership Brain – What do you think?

Why is it that we have so few female leaders? What is it that holds us back from reaching the same levels as our male leaders?

We’ve had our first female Prime Minister, for heaven’s sake.  Surely things should have changed by now?  But they have not.

Sheryl Sandberg, in her TEDTalk, quoted some statistics on the topic. “Women are not making it to the top of any profession anywhere in the world. The numbers tell the story quite clearly. 190 heads of state — nine are women. Of all the people in parliament in the world, 13 percent are women. In the corporate sector, women at the top, C-level jobs, board seats — tops out at 15, 16 percent. The numbers have not moved since 2002 and are going in the wrong direction. And even in the non-profit world, a world we sometimes think of as being led by more women, women at the top: 20 percent.”

Later in her talk she makes some really interesting observations.

  1. Women systematically underestimate their own abilities.
  2. Women do not negotiate for themselves in the workforce.
  3. Men attribute their success to themselves, and women attribute it to other external factors.
  4. Success and likeability are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women.

All of these observations are accurate. Some of our behaviours (or lack of them) are taught to us by the society we live in, and we have accepted them as being the only way to behave.  Others are simply due to the fact that we are wired differently and therefore place value on different areas from men.

It’s a fact that there are basic differences between the male and female brains and that is what triggers our response to the different stimuli. For example, the amygdala is bigger in the male brain.  It’s the region which alerts us to and responds to danger, so it is natural for men to be very competitive.  Women tend to take a more consultative approach to avoid outright confrontation.

Men are confident in their abilities and that’s an attractive thing in a male leader, yet confident women are not regarded as likeable and in many cases, not worthy of respect.

Let’s not even talk about hormones and the impact they have on our thoughts and behaviours!

A different approach to leadership is not a bad thing.  A recent study showed female brains are radically more active in 85% of their brain and it seems that the female brain is actually better wired for the leadership role than the male.

Are we holding ourselves back because we still underestimate our abilities?  Are we holding ourselves back because we are so used to accepting the male model of leadership that we can’t see past it?

What do you think?

Women Make Excellent Investors and Entrepreneurs

Women Make Excellent Investors and Entrepreneurs

Times have changed, with women in some sectors now equalling the earning power of their male counterparts. But there is still a perception that proper money management and entrepreneurship is the domain of men, and the perception that women seeking the wisest path in investing in the future should hand their financial affairs over to their husbands or mostly-male financial advisors.
Remember, though, that the perception that these routes are the most secure or successful is not necessarily correct. With more women choosing to control their own financial futures, we can now see that women are, on the whole, better investors than men, and possibly even better in managerial roles.

It turns out that the personality traits which men, through biology, tend to come by most easily, can actually be to their detriment when it comes to investing and trading. Confidence, aggression and risk-taking behaviour have long been seen as essential in building a profitable investment portfolio, but time has shown that in the long run, caution, research and careful planning go a long way. And guess who has these avenues covered? Yes, women.

Women are excellent investors, as they tend to research their options thoroughly, take fewer risks than men, and invest for longer periods of time, generally weathering the ups and downs of the market through to successful outcomes. On the other hand, men can be overconfident, and treat hunches as truth. The may take unnecessary risks, and lose out through excess trading, always being on the lookout for better performing investment options. Following the GFC of 2008, many male investors reacted by selling stock low, investing elsewhere and trying to recover their losses quickly, whereas the prevailing female reaction was to hang on until stock recovered, which in many cases proved the better financial choice.

Studies show that women investors are more likely to ask for advice, and seek information that may challenge their own assumptions, making sure their final decision reflects all available information. This thorough and patient approach allows them to make objective decisions, and develop clear investment strategies that they can stick to, and reduces the instance of rash reactions when the market shifts. Not only does it result in less hasty selling, it also allows these cautious investors to let go of poorly performing stock, without feeling a personal loss or failure.

Female entrepreneurs show similar management traits, and are learning quickly from lessons the male-dominated business sphere is sharing. Women in business are also reaching out to one another, sharing their wealth of information, and building networks that strengthen all connections within them.

Given these facts, one of the wisest choices an organisation could make would be to develop a strategy to attract more female investors, and make room for more women on executive committees. Time is showing the companies that do so are outperforming the rest.
How much stronger and more balanced would your organisation be if you were able to draw equally on the talents of both genders? Two halves always make a whole, and the power is in the mix. Gender balanced leadership and management will smoothly and dynamically drive your business forward.

Why women need to support women, not compete with them!

Why women need to support women, not compete with them!

When power feels like a scarce resource, people will compete with one another to grab what influence they can. Historically, women have perceived that a small amount of power and opportunity are available to us—and that these resources are controlled and granted to us by others. So when some small door of opportunity cracks open, we greedily shove one another out of our way in an effort to be the first—or better yet, only—woman through the gap. We often feel we must compete with one another to win a share of influence, and we resent one another for successes, believing other women’s achievement inherently erodes our own. The irony here is that in buying the idea of scarcity and bruising each other on our way through the door, we essentially guarantee that the real power stays in the hands of others.

So what happens when, instead, women stop focusing on scarcity, recognize their own abundance, decide to stop competing, and support each other? They find a kind of power they never would have otherwise: solidarity. For most women solitude is necessary and welcome, but it can become crushing. Particularly when words we painstakingly pour on paper are misunderstood, rejected, or harshly and personally criticized. Like everyone else, we need kind and understanding friends to help us see what’s true, to keep everything in perspective, and to keep going. But since we work alone, those friends can be hard to find.

You need people who love you but will tell you when you are royally screwing up. These people will help point out things that you may be too close to see clearly, or when you’re not seeing things objectively. It’s true, you screw up (as do I). You are human. It’s not in our nature to be perfect because perfection doesn’t exist. Having sisters around you that don’t have any other objective but your well-being are your best source of that elusive objective opinion. Your friends can see your crap and call you on it when you can’t see it yourself. When you have trusted people around you, they’ll be the first ones to see your patterns, good or bad.

Nurturing relationships are a two-way-street! You deserve time to nurture relationships that nurture you back. Having nurturing relationships outside of family isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. You will be a better person for you, and to everyone around you, when you give and receive with people outside of your family. Supporting other women is so rewarding and is the clearest way to receive the support you need when you need it. It just feels good to support others for no other reason other than you want to see them shine. All I want is the women I support, care about, work with, coach, educate, inspire and empower to be a million times more successful than me. Why? I was part of their journey and I will be there on the sidelines cheering them on.

In turn, research supports the finding that having a network of social contacts helps people have longer, healthier, happier lives. When you live your full of a sense of purpose, you wake up every day with something to look forward to. When women decide to support one another rather than compete—when they feel abundance rather than their own scarcity, and they share out of that abundance—great things can happen. When we take small steps in solidarity, watch out. We’ll make a difference. Because we’re together, and that makes all the difference. Be a cheerleader! Surround yourself with cheerleaders!

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