What Would You Do If You Were Not Afraid?

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I have recently been thinking about a question I had posed to a number of female leaders in my team - What would you do if you were not afraid?

Be One, Inspire One

So having received an invite to attend the Be One, Inspire One event, an email came in looking for someone to blog about the morning. I thought - here is the perfect chance to test my fear limits! When I heard there would be French toast and champagne cocktails over breakfast I couldn't think of a better way to start a Wednesday.

The Panel

The panel was made up of 5 strong female leaders from really different backgrounds but all very successful in their own fields. Jennifer English - Global Marketing Director for Baileys, Ciara Hunt – Pumpkin Organics, Jules Fallon - Creative Director and Stylist at 1st Option Models and Dublin Fashion Festival, Erika Fox - Retro Flame,  Dr Rhona Mahony - Master of the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) in Dublin.

Hard work

In listening to their stories, there were a couple of things that struck me - there was no replacement for hard work in their achievements. They were all fiercely determined in their fields to be the best they could.  Not everything went to plan for them all the time, everyone suffers setback but they embraced the change and built resilience going higher and further at the next try. They are all juggling the many things that we as women do. I often ask myself the holy grail question  ‘how to do it all’ and so refreshingly even from these inspiring women there is no silver bullet, no one answer and no one gets it right all the time.

The messages

As I mentioned above each of the panelist were from really different background and I took away some really powerful messages that hopefully will inspire!!!

  • To be a leader, you need followers and to have followers you need to let people in and see your vulnerabilities.
  • Hard work and competence is really important in building your credibility as a leader but we shouldn't underestimate the importance of also winning hearts and minds
  • Change is always a part of life and while things don't go to plan you still need to embrace the change. Always consider why not?? Why not set up your own business? Why not go for promotion, move country, look for a mentor? Challenge yourself and step outside your comfort zone
  • One quote from Erica Fox really struck me - the harder you work the luckier you get. That is something I live by.
  • Jules Fallon talked about how she has made a business bucket list and how that makes her focus on making her dreams happen.


There is always one!!!

The final speaker of the morning was Rhona Mahony who is the master of the National Maternity Hospital and if I was to have a favourite I think I found her!!! Rhona talked about how she was the first female Master in the hospital since its foundation. As a mother to two daughter, it really resonated with me when she talked about a baby being born and how the world stops just for a moment, then that baby goes into the world with all of the potential life can give.

Legacy

Rhona then talked about how she really believes in women and our ability to lead the way and build a legacy to pass on to the next generation. Not be afraid of failure, through failing you learn, have courage and put yourself forward. Real leadership comes in times of challenge - how do you deal with significant adversity, that is where true leadership is found. Above all remember to have fun and give it a go.

Dealing with feedback

There were loads of great questions but one struck me particularly around how to deal with negative feedback. Feedback can be positively or negatively intended. Where necessary practise the art form of grace and rise above. Where there is something you can learn incorporate that feedback. Another idea was thinking about having a kitchen cabinet - a small group of people who you trust and criticise you appropriately when you need it.

Above all don't get distracted - keep focussed on your goals!!!

Inspirational

It was great to share the stories you hear with other female leaders. One day I might be the one who inspires another. Where woman encourage and support each other incredible things happen.

 

Comments 3

Aislinn Brennan on Wednesday, 27 September 2017 11:29

Great blog. Such an interesting panel. Each speaker had such a fab story to tell

Great blog. Such an interesting panel. Each speaker had such a fab story to tell :)
Carol McMahon on Thursday, 28 September 2017 11:29

Attended this event also, a great way to start a morning and the panel were so interesting. Really looking to the next event in Cork.

Attended this event also, a great way to start a morning and the panel were so interesting. Really looking to the next event in Cork.
Lisa Taggart on Tuesday, 03 October 2017 08:48

Great blog Lisa Slattery - and as for your comment "One day I might be the one who inspires another", you are already doing that in abundance.

Great blog Lisa Slattery - and as for your comment "One day I might be the one who inspires another", you are already doing that in abundance.
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