I am still on cloud nine after what was a fantastic event last week – to celebrate the launch of my new book, Power Up: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Unleashing Her Potential. The event was sold-out and the gorgeous room in the Embassy Club was packed to the rafters filled with an immense energy from the people there.
We were all there to discuss and celebrate power, explore what it means to be powerful in the best possible sense, and take time out to reflect on our own individual relationship with it. It was an utter privilege to stand in front of that room full of people including my family, friends, clients, colleagues and new contacts and share why I wrote Power Up and how important its messaging is to me and for us all.
The biggest message I wanted to convey was that, at a time when diversity and inclusion are on the agenda more than ever, we ALL need to power up in order to make real change. And that although the glass ceiling is unfortunately still there, what also holds many women back – including myself at times – are self-imposed glass bricks which we build around us to keep ourselves safe, but which can also prevent us from accessing our power. This theme resonated with many in the audience, who recognised the glass bricks of perfectionism, competition, extreme professionalism and an overwhelming desire to be liked, to name a few.
After my talk and Q&A session with my fabulous comedian friend, Emma Stroud, who MC’d the event spectacularly, I went on to interview the expert panel who all talked emphatically and passionately about their relationship with power and how they’ve used it within their working lives.
Talking specifically about how to Power Up your career, some of the highlights included:
- From Anna Parfitt, HR Director at Oliver Bonas: make sure you take the initiative with career discussions; don’t go in all guns blazing or make unrealistic demands, instead be clear about the benefits to the organisation.
- Caroline Flanagan, author of Babyproof Your Career: when planning a family, focus on your ability to have a career and family and create a positive belief that you can have – and thrive – with both.
- Daniele Fiandaca, co-founder of Token Man and Utopia: when you feel out of control, ask yourself, how can I get more influence so I can affect more change. And to organisations seeking to be more inclusive: create opportunities for open and honest conversations.
- Jo Lyall, MD of Freeda Media: it’s absolutely possible to rise through the ranks without an academic background: what you need is a can-do attitude, to trust your own judgement, be true to yourself and don’t follow what’s been done before.
- Sally Keane, Head of Sales, LinkedIn: create an online profile that conveys who you really are, who you want to be and what you’re passionate about; engage in conversations which help build your network and tell your own story.
- Lizzie Edwards, author of Look Like the Leader You Are: what we wear gives us confidence and affects how people perceive us, so be aware of how you come across and make conscious decisions about the image you’re projecting.
Throughout the event, it became clear that equality, flexibility and diversity in the workplace are not just expected, but demanded, and that the way to ensure this is for us all to power up, together.
I am excited to say that I will be running another Power Up event later in the year and hosting quarterly Power Up webinars. If you’d like to find out more, please add your name to the mailing list here. And buy your copy of Power Up here.