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!!

A story about Olga

Last weekend we went to the shopping centre to buy a few things and have lunch with the kids. When we finished we returned to the car park and we were ready to go home. As we reached the car a nice elderly woman who looked in distressed requested our assistance as she had some trouble finding her way out of the car park.

A few weeks ago, the shopping centre implemented a new ticket machine system that recognise the car on the way into the centre. This lady was trying to find an actual ticket machine and was circling the centre for more than 20min.

As we saw that she was struggling to find her way out, I offered her to join her car and assist with the parking payment. She accepted my offer and was extremely grateful. On the way out we chatted and she told me that her name is Olga and this was the first time she has experienced such discomfort.

After she dropped me off, my husband that was driving behind us picked me up and we drove back home. On the way back, my kids asked me how come I went into a stranger’s car, as they know this is not acceptable and unsafe.

We explained to them that we saw that this lady was confused and needed someone’s assistance. There are times I find it difficult to explain to them why sometimes we need to deviate from the norm and do things differently. This was definitely one of them.

Random act of kindness

Today is the Jewish new year, one of the most important celebrations in the Jewish tradition.

This holiday is about celebrating the new year with family and friends and start the year with positive wishes for the year to come. Our family moved to Melbourne many years ago and always this holiday close to my heart as it is all about celebrating with your love ones. Therefore, I decided to celebrate in my home and invite my closest friends and family over.

This morning I went to buy the final few last items that I needed for tonight. As you can imagine, the supermarket was filled with people like me that only came to buy the last thing for their special dinner tonight.

As I was searching through the isles, one lovely lady approached me and asked if I have come across cranberries. As it was just next to me, I passed on a pack and she was very happy and grateful.

After good 45 min, I had everything I needed and I was making my way through to the registers. At that moment, the same lovely lady named Louise, said that she has something to give me when I finish my payment. I wasn’t sure what she meant but she kept her word and waited for me at the entrance of the supermarket. She then said that she was prying to God to meet Jewish people as she was volunteering in a Jewish organisation called Tikkun Olam and she handed out a big hamper with lots of kosher goodies.

To be honest, I was surprised and grateful for this beautiful and unexpected random act of kindness. Sometimes it feels like God gives you signs and I truly believe that today was a sign that a new great year is ahead of us.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my family and friends all over the world Happy New Year and Gmar Chatimah Tova.

My role model

Often I’m asked who is my role model and if I can name a few people that influenced me and shaped my leadership style.

From a very young age, I was raised to stand up for myself and for the things I believe in and have developed a strong personality. Growing with four other siblings and being no. 4 was a great lesson about becoming resilient and determined.

For many years I was asking myself where those attributes came from and the deeper I dug into my soul I noticed that there were some similarities to my Grandma. This amazing woman that wasn’t a career driven person had an amazing story to tell and was one of the most unique people I have ever met. She taught me some of the most valuable lessons in life.

From her I have learnt to respect others and respect myself. She had strong ethics that belongs to another generation with incredible manners.

Her modesty and simplicity was remarkable and sometimes I wish I will be half as good as her.

The big 4-0

Today I’m 40, and I’m celebrating my journey with family and friends.

Firstly I have to say that I am grateful for everything that I have in my life. My husband, kids, extended family and friends and for my career and where I am in my life. It is exactly where I need to be.

Today is a good day to reflect, where I came from to where I am today. Looking at my past, present and future and acknowledged that I went through a lot of things and I have learnt a lot about myself and others. From being up to being down and then up again, from being extremely happy to feeling blue and happy again.

I learnt valuable lessons, such as not being afraid of who I am and dealing with whatever life throws at me. It feels that I become wiser the older I get and know and accept what I’m capable of. Determination becomes a key element in achieving my goals. Not giving up midway through when things go wrong or not the way I have planned.

At the end, I’m still that little girl who wants to achieve success and make a difference in this world. Today I wish this little girl to stay as she is and follow her passion without letting anyone tell her that she can’t because what ever she set her mind to she can do it. This is the same thing I say to my kids on a daily basis.

Thanks again everyone, feeling grateful and loved.

Faith and hope

We all familiar with those days when things don’t go as planned and you become frustrated and start questioning your ability to plan ahead.

These days bring me back to my childhood and I’m greatful for the skills my parents taught me. My dad loved to write and compose and during the last decade he wrote dozens of songs. One of the songs was about faith and to acknowledge that there are sunny and grey days.

In the song it says: “The most important thing is to have faith, this will keep you moving forward on the right path.

Sometimes it is hard to find the inner strength and in those grey moments to see the light. That’s why it is so important to have faith, because it doesn’t matter what type of day you have it will help you to stay focused and motivated and assist with keep on going towards and achieve your goals.

My proudest moment

It is quite rare to have this sensation of mix emotions that vary from being extremely proud to deeply humbled.

In the last few weeks I was focused on the tasks that I needed to deliver which affected my main focus, my amazing kids, and no I’m not a biased.  After an extremely busy week overseas, I finally got back home to find an amazing surprise from my dearest daughter.

As a rule, every time I travel I make sure that at least once a day I get to see or speak with my family. Throughout the week, my gorgeous daughter said that she has a surprise for me, and what a wonderful surprise it was.

When I arrived home, she gave me a wrapped gift with a 3 page document. The document heading was: “50 things I love about my mum”. When I unwrapped the package I found 9 little gifts that had been chosen carefully. From coupons she made to a little bag with M&M chill pills.

The most amazing thing was to read the things she wrote and the way she described me through her lenses.

This made my day and I was touched. I truly believe that it is the nicest thing that anyone has ever done for me. When I told this to my daughter she replied that it made her day too.

Everyday I am grateful for my amazing family and it has always been and always will be my rock and the reason to do everything I do.