Dealing with perception

A few years ago, I participated in a leadership program and part of the introductions we were required to introduce ourselves following a feedback session on how we went. I remember that when delivered my elevator speech the feedback that was given by my fellow colleagues was that I looked younger and the perception might be that I don’t have enough experience.

This was the first time I came across the power of perception and what it means in term of my career path. Later on, as I progressed and moved into more senior roles I had to deal with perception and find creative ways to influence how people think and operate.

Recently I was privileged to travel again to Bangalore, India and had the opportunity to explore the surrounding and experienced it through the eyes of the local team. Every time I travel to India, I’m discovering a new gem and I know that there is so much more to see. What I have discovered every time that I’ve been here is that people will go above and beyond to make sure you have been looked after. Beside the fascinating sightseeing and the incredible food, I encourage everyone to travel to India at least once in a lifetime.

So next time before forming a perception about somewhere or someone, try to give it a go and really see things for what they real are. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Here we go again

It feels like not too long ago I wrote about the year that passed and now 2018 has already gone.

As last year, I see this as a great opportunity to reflect on the year that was and what a great year it has been. In 2018, I faced challenges, had the opportunity to meet amazing people all over the globe and accumulated new skills along the way. The most important thing, was the fact that I have enjoyed doing what I do and through the year, I have evolved and grew so much.

So what did I achieve in 2018? This time last year, I moved into a new role within the finance department, without knowing where this path will take me, I was requested to lead the establishment of a new entity located in Bangalore, India.

This was a steep learning curve and I gained business and local knowledge. It was also a great opportunity to work alongside incredible people who taught me so much and I’m so grateful for each person I have met and interacted with along the way.

I have no doubt that 2019 is going to be exciting with new challenges on the horizon which makes me thrilled to what’s ahead of us.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year. I know that this year will be even more exciting than last year.

2019 here I come!!

Co-pilot

Recently I was assigned to a large project and was advised that my role will be a supportive role to the project lead and I will be acting as the co-pilot.

Initially I was concerned about the role and how I can fit in with the project team. At that point I wasn’t sure about my role and how I can contribute to the delivery of the project.

Very quickly, I started to learn more about the project itself, the team and the challenges we were facing. It was evident that the project team was required to build a governance framework for delivering tasks and accountabilities.

Slowly things started to fall into place and I’ve gathered a better understanding of the value of the supportive role to the project group and that this was as important as any other leadership role in the project team.

This made me think about how sometimes we underestimate our contribution for the greater good. We all have a role to play and it is important to have a sense of appreciation for what each individual can deliver and the pivotal role everyone plays in achieving the share goals together as a team.

Being busy is not an excuse

In the last few months I was really busy. Between work and personal commitments I was trying to find the right balance to manage it all. Sometimes in life some things takes priority over other things and it seemed like a constant run.

In today’s environment being busy is a given and it is how you manage your time to fit it all. One of the things I have neglected in the last few months is my writing habit. At the beginning I was telling myself that I’m just busy and I will get back to it when I get the time. Then days turned into weeks who turned into months.

Recently I was thinking about the things I am passionate about and what I love to do. Writing was at the top of my list, which made me realised, that even when I am busy I should always allocate the time for the things I love to do or makes me feel happier.

I also learnt that it is not too late to go back and pick up from where I have left it. The more time went by, I was too concerned about going back into it. What I found is that I might be a bit rusty to start with, but I’m sure I will pick up and get back into my routine. As I was once told, practice brings perfection.

Think on your feet

Monday mornings are usually very busy as it is the start of the week and everyone is planning for the week to come with plenty of back to back meetings. This Monday was an unusual day as I was planning to be in the office for a short period of time and head to the airport to catch a flight.

In between my arrival and my departure from the office I had a meeting scheduled that could not be moved. As every morning, I always ensure that I get my priorities right and therefore started my day with a large coffee.

Prior to the meeting, I have checked that everything is going according to the scheduled plan and that I have everything that I need. To my surprise I found out that I was expected to travel lightly and only bring a carry-on luggage. Without getting into panic mode, I started thinking who can assist with this situation as my luggage was more than a carry on allowance.

Luckily I was able to find a small trolley that fitted all my belongings. Without any hesitation I unpacked and packed again in less than 10 minutes.

In these types of situations you need to think on your feet and stay calm. By doing so you will be able to analyse the situation and get this resolved in no time. As a rule of thumb, it never hurts to know the right people that can give you the support you need.

In case you were wondering, I managed to leave on time and to be ahead of time for my flight. Thanks for the assistance of some really helpful people.

When there’s a will there’s a way

So many times we”ve heard that life is short, that the time is now and don’t hold back on things that you want to do.

In the last few years I lived by this and pursued my own dreams and things that I want to achieve in life both personally and in terms of my career. Sometimes, I hear people saying that it’s too late and if I haven’t done it by now it’s not going to happen.

Unfortunately, I have to disagree with that as I honestly believe that there is no age limitation to pursue your dreams whatever they may be.

My mum is nearly 70 and most of her life she was there to support my dad who pursued his own dreams even though it was at the expense of her own. Today my mum decided that she wanted to treat herself and get a tattoo.

It was very symbolic that she chose a tattoo with the word family on her left hand. At the age of nearly 70, my mum said for the first time that she does not care what other people think even if they convince that she’s lost the plot.

My mum showed me today that there is no such thing as too old or too young and nothing should stop you from doing things you want to do.

On that note, all I can say is: Mum, you are a champion.

Reflection & Resolution

In less than one week, 2017 will be gone and it is a great opportunity to reflect on the year that was. And what a great year it has been. In 2017, I had the opportunity to travel, grow, learn and enjoy every day doing what I do.

The road to self-fulfilment is a long one with ups and downs. This year I finally found the courage to start writing and started my own blog. This taught me to become resilient and to accept my own flaws and see them as development opportunities.

This year I lived and breathed the company values and reached higher by challenging myself and seeking ways to improve, I managed to kick goals and achieve great outcomes. This led to great recognition and further opportunities to develop my skills set which increased the tools I have in my tools box.

I had the opportunity to travel to new locations- overseas, interstate and in Victoria and spend quality time with my family and friends.

And with 2018 approaching, it is time to write down my New Year resolutions and ensure that I will revisit at the end of the year.

My resolutions are to be truthful to myself and stand up for the things that I believe are right, following my passion and dreams and continuously challenging myself to be the better version of me.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year.

2018 here I come!!

The Click Moment

Sometimes it all comes down to that moment that you can just hear the click and you know that you are on the right track. Recently I was privileged to be shared with a special moment, a click that occurred in one of my mentees lives.

We were discussing about future plans and what is the right approach in regards to retirement planning. At this particular session we reviewed the current situation and how to prioritise to ensure life-work balance is kept as part of setting goals for the nearest future.

She was generous to share with me her journey to this point and that in the last few weeks it seems like everything just falls into place. She describe this as a click moment, like a eureka moment.

This one defining moment when luck and skill collide is the essence of “The Click Moment” book by Frans Johansson. In his book he is talks about how to make that moment happen. According to Frans Johansson’s research, successful people and organisations show a common theme. A lucky moment occurs and they take advantage of it to change their fate.

By providing examples throughout history he illustrate the specific actions we can take to create more click moments and open ourselves up to endless opportunities and harness the complex forces of success that follow.

Don’t poke the bear

Many times in life we tend to walk on egg shells around people who surround us just to avoid confrontations or to navigate around tough conversations. Recently I was involved in a project which included multiple stakeholders from different areas of the business which had different desires, expectations and priorities.

At the beginning each of the individuals that were involved were trying to promote their own agenda without the understanding of the surrounding needs. After few sessions we identified that we needed to re-evaluate and explore different options to resolve the challenges that we all have agreed on. One of the main stakeholders was required to step in to ensure we are heading towards the right direction.

As a results the project team was able to meet the project milestones as per the initial critical path. Sometimes the right thing to do is poke the bear to ensure we are moving towards the right direction and that everyone involved is on the same page.

The Chinese Bamboo – Learn to be patient

In one of the conversations with my husband I told him that now that I’m getting closer to my 40th birthday I truly feel that this is the time for me to shine. My husband shared with me the story of the Chinese Bamboo Tree and identified the resemble of the bamboo parable to my journey.

It was fascinating to learn how this amazing plant is growing and the story behind it. In the first 4 years of a Bamboo plant you will not be able to see anything on the surface. In the 4 years you will need to do the same thing every day: water the plant, fertilise and nurture it without any evidence of your hard work.

In this time , you are setting the foundations but you won’t receive any rewards, this is the time where the plant grow its roots and become stronger. In the fifth year, you finally see a small bamboo sprig, then the next day an even bigger one and within 5 weeks it will grow up to an amazing height of 27 meters.

At the age of forty I’m starting to realise that the last ten years have been the foundation of establishing my career path and the direction I would like to pursue. Life long goals are not about racing to the finish line. It’s about learning new skills and meet new people who I can learn from every day. At this point of my life I truly looking forward to continuously building my skills set and gain knowledge to be able to take on new challenges and reach my true potential.