Building an Early Foundation:
I believe we are learning and growing though our life experiences – hardships and success, as well as through the people we meet along in our life, career or business development journey. I’ve had a very successful corporate career – as a global HR Director and board member, during my 25 years of corporate career development journey I have worked across several continents and countries. I’ve had opportunity to learn from great leaders and role models, be challenged and supported by great coaches, mentors and colleagues, and discover what works and what does not work across different geographies, countries, cultural contexts.
My key learning from this journey is to constantly keep increasing self awareness on what is my passion, vision, purpose, how I best can and want add value to my customer, employer, leader, and focus on doing what I am great at. Because that is what matters. We all have our genius. It works best when we share our genius and talent to add value to others. Then we feel valued and can constantly increase our value through development – only then you can work a lot but don’t feel exhausted, the time is just flying and results are coming! Now it is my time to pay it forward. Hence I am focusing on helping others succeed by shining the light on their talents and genius. I’ve had great leaders as mentors that helped me grow into great leadership. Now I help others to become great leaders of their team, career or business. I have adopted one of my mentor’s leadership success approaches of “80:20” – 80% of time focus on doing what you are great at, and 20% - work on improvement. That helps to be more effective, focused and efficient. And – do a bit of the necessary development too.
Therefore, to pay it forward of what I have learned from my great mentors, now I focus on 3 key areas to help my clients with: 1) leadership & team performance development, 2) consulting business model development through the power of personal brand and LinkedIn and 3) HR business partnering mentoring in organisations that need to develop their HR business partnering capability.
The Journey from Setbacks to Success:
When you have a mindset of – “I don’t fail, I learn or earn”, that helps to go through different struggles, setbacks and challenges with a growth mindset. That is either benefiting from every challenging situation or learning from it. I believe that anything is possible to those who believe and take action. Whatever action is necessary to take. We all have struggles time to time. What matters is how we deal with them. Instead of getting stuck, how do we find the ways to learn and grow? And that is – through entrepreneurship mindset. Either as an employee working for someone or developing our business, I believe we have to adopt this entrepreneurial mindset of always looking at how we can best add value and solve challenges, so we learn or earn.
Through my struggles I’ve realised - when you constantly increase self awareness of what is your true value, you increase confidence to go through any challenging situation, connecting with the right people for support and learning along the way. My break through to focus on what I am passionate about and live a fulfilled life while adding value to others in authentic way happened a few years ago. My close friend was diagnosed with brain cancer. It was a very difficult time to help him go through all the treatments – surgery, chemo, radiation therapy, while leading and managing global HR & business development function myself in corporations across several countries. In parallel, I was doing extensive research of why life threatening diseases like cancer happen to people and what are the alternative ways to help treat it. Of course, no-one can tell you exactly “why” as there are numbers of different reasons. And there is no one perfect way to treat it. However, what this situation made me realise is – we do live just once this life and no-one knows how long we are given. Therefore, let’s make the most of it. By focusing on what we are great at (that’s why we are given the talents we have), enjoying what we do while contributing our value to others, so that we feel fulfilled and valued. No need to struggle in unfulfilling job or business, either take courage to shift it and transform to best, or make a leap to change.
That closely relates to my business services impact - helping leaders be more engaging, impactful, inspirational and empowering leaders for their team and business, helping professionals and entrepreneurs develop their personal brand to attract the right career or business opportunities. Your brand is related to your value – the more value you add, the stronger is your brand. Helping leaders to build awesome business performance through mastering tools like LinkedIn, growing their self awareness and impact, and being more impactful communicators to master their team performance and flow.
Personal Branding’ as the Power Tool:
When you develop your personal brand, you obtain clarity – what do you stand for, what are your values, how do you deliver value for others around you – your clients, employer, colleagues. You become crystal clear on your vision of what do you want to achieve, and then work backward from there – how you need to apply your talents to serve and add value to others, so that through that you achieve your vision. It’s focusing on win-win.
Personal branding can feel confusing if we have the wrong focus. If we focus on ourselves and pure promotion of ourselves, then it might feel intimidating. It’s a win (us) – lose (them) mindset. The success key here is to switch the focus from ourselves to serving our “customer” – whoever our customer is – our employer, manager, colleague or client. Personal branding is about adding value to others, the more value you add, the stronger is your brand. That is a win-win mindset. You deliver value to your “customer” through solutions you provide and receive value in return – appreciation, revenues, team performance, and business growth - win-win.
Some people perceive personal branding all wrong that it’s about bragging about one self. Instead, it’s about developing clarity on your value proposition and sharing that with others with a purpose to serve. Then it feels congruent and the purpose of your activities is clear. That is when you come from a service perspective. When you are clear on your value that you deliver for your customers through your solutions (in business or career) and how you help making their life easier, you feel more energised and obliged to share this message with your audience.
Some of the challenges I just shared made me realise that it is not a great corporate job title and reward package that matters. What matters is – knowing that through your services you have helped someone to be better. To be better at what they do, to have better career or development opportunities, to have better choice of jobs they are passionate about, to have easier ways to grow their business, to be better communicator or more confident leader… you name it! I am so passionate about helping leaders, expert professionals and entrepreneurs to be the best version of themselves, that I have even collated valuable tools and strategies in “The Success Planner” book that I’ve launched a few year ago – so that everyone has an access to the valuable tools to clarify their personal brand, value and build impact.
Impactful Lessons from my Mentor:
Every person that I meet in my life, business or career journey is like a mentor to me, through the questions they ask, feedback they provide, even the challenges they create – I learn and grow. Therefore, I am consciously curious about what can I learn from someone that has succeeded more than me in some particular area. A few years ago one of my mentors shared a team and talent assessment tool that I now use with every client. It was a life changing discovery for me that I now share further. This helps with clarity on your genius and what brings you in flow, clarity on what are your natural ways of communicating and gaps that you might not notice yourself, as well as – clarity on what is your success profile and who are the leaders with similar profiles that you can learn from.
Another mentor helped me with holding the right leadership assumptions. As for an example, now I always hold the assumption of “good will and good intent”. If I face a challenging situation with someone or disagreement, I hold the assumption that the person behaves from good will and intent perspective. This allows me to be curious of their perspective and explore their point of view, instead of being defensive of my view.
Another good one is – “in every situation we find what works and learn from it”. This encourages us to develop a growth mindset and always look for what’s working and what are the possible solutions. This is my encouragement for you – explore taking this assumption on. You’ll see how different your everyday life becomes.
And remember – anything is possible to those who believe and take action. Believe you can. And take action to succeed.