It was a busy week with multiple rooms full of wonderful people looking for wisdoms and wonder. JP Morgan was host to a room full of women wanting to feel more confident and become better negotiators , were given a meaty and wonderful workshop by Abstract facilitated by Dress for Success Dublin. I told my story of getting comfortable with discomfort, challenging yourself to build that muscle and push the outer limits of our potential.
It's not always easy to find the fuel within ourselves, exposing ourselves to the thinking that we want to do ourselves is a powerful bridge. The internet has provided us with a wealth of research and reference, if we change nothing, nothing will change. It always worth asking yourself, if I'm still in this same situation in five years time, will I be content and fulfilled? Two great reads to give you fuel are That's What She Said by Joanne Lipman, a journalist turned thought leader in crucial conversations around women's empowerment and progression in the workplace, from both a male and female point of view. it's a brilliant Christmas present for a male colleague or a stocking filler for a male CEO. Another cracker is How Women Rise by Marshall Goldsmith and Sally Helgesen, a female skewed update to the classic, What Got You Here Won't Get You There.
At Linkedin it was standing room only for a breakfast briefing on Personal and Professional Branding for the National Recruitment Federation. The conversation turned to purpose and values. What drives us, motivates us and keeps us moving forward? How do we know what our values are? Well, it's pretty simple, we look at a list of values, some sites list as many as 400! James Clear, who wrote the phenomenal book Atomic Habits, lists a digestible 50 from which to choose. Print them out and and play cards with them, shuffle them around and swap them in and out until you end up with three that mean something special to you, ways of being that in interlinked into your core. Not only does this give a heightened self awareness it also creates a valuable decision making matrix when dealing with both challenges and opportunities.
In Dromoland Castle, 200 women gathered from the Mid West region, hosted by their Local Enterprise offices for National Women's Enterprise Day. The common theme was being brave and controlling the controllable. Fiona Stead told her story of not being afraid to ask, understanding and contextualising your value. The room was full of small business entrepreneurs and I was struck once again by the inherent difficulty at the early stages of a business of having to do it all yourself. A day of luxurious forced reflection was the perfect antidote. The challenge is keeping that space open on a regular basis. One of the most powerful books I've read in positioning a young business for success is Key Person of Influence by Daniel Priestly, it's available free at the proceeding link. In fact, all three of his books are excellent and natural follow ons as your business grows and develops.
The engine was running as I skidded out of the castle and hot footed it to City hall Cork for the inaugural IEStyle Live event designed by the wonderful people (mainly women) at The Examiner. I was joined in MC'ing the event by my long time partner in crime, Brendan Courtney. There was fashion, food, glamour and music. But it didn't stop there, we are hungry for solid conversations in our world today and the superstar that is Louise O'Neill, shared generously in a fireside chat with me. The questions were around how to navigate, as women, a world designed for men, how to equip our sons and our daughters with the education and values that allow them to excel and what role men play in the quest for equality. It turns out, as I always suspected, that loving lipstick, fashion and men are not mutually exclusive from a deep feminist drive and a need for equality to make our society better. I love that we are beginning to think more deeply, more critically to grow and empower ourselves in the unending quest to be the best version of ourselves.