‘If everything is important, nothing is.’ These are wise words I recently read by author, speaker and consultant, Patrick Lencioni. If this is thinking is correct, how do you know when the person who often says they’re ‘busy’ during your morning chat in the elevator, are truly busy?
In my case, if everything is to be described as ‘amazing’ is anything ever amazing? As I read Lencioni’s words, I felt something reach deep into my consciousness and tug hard at the nerves. It’s a feeling I get every time I say ‘amazing’ and all the other words I overuse.
This got me thinking about other words (or ‘softeners’ as I like to think of them) women often say in order to make a point come across as being less bossy, abrupt or abrasive for the sake of seeming ‘nice’.
We often say ‘I just wanted to let you know…’ rather than ‘Here’s want I think is important to share with you’ and ‘Actually, can I just say…’ instead of ‘I have an idea I’d like to put forward for discussion’. Why do we seek permission for having a valid contribution to make?
Happy new year to you all! I hope that you had a rest over the holiday season and took time out to focus on friends and family. My new year has started with a flurry of activity as we are busy planning our next event which will take place on International Women’s day on Tuesday 8 March 2016 at Altitude 360. This will be our biggest event to date and we are adopting the International Women’s day theme of Gender Parity. The World Economic Forum in its Global Gender Gap Report in 2014 estimates that it will take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity in the workplace. That’s a staggering 80 more years until companies and governments are equally led by men and women. This doesn’t just affect our generation at work, it will affect your daughters, your grand-daughters and even your great grand-daughters!
At WICT UK we think that’s just too long to wait so we are building an exciting agenda of speakers around this topic.
We’d love to see you there so please mark your calendars and look out for your invitation soon.
We all have those tasks we spend more time dreading than actually doing. Whether it’s working on your budget, immersing yourself in a presentation, or finally cleaning out the garage (which you’ve said you’ll do for six months now), there are many factors influencing your abilities to not only do it, but to do it well. It might sound easy to push it back each day but in the long run, you’re putting more pressure on yourself, building it up to be something a great deal more dreadful than it actually is. Here are some simple ways to get that thing done.
Do something that energises you
Half of the battle is feeling too drained to begin a task. Adjust your mind set by doing something you enjoy first. Whether it’s having a creative brainstorm at work, having a chat with someone who energises you, or going outside for a walk, know that you have the power to shift your focus and boost your mood. Starting it with fresh eyes will make the whole thing a piece of cake.
Give yourself a maximum time frame to get it done within
Set yourself a time frame and stick to it. Tell yourself you have 40 minutes to give this job your full concentration and no more. If it’s a big project, break it down into 30 or 40 minute chunks and tackle it bit by bit.
Think about how you might feel once you’ve actually done it
So you’ve been building this chore up to be much worse than it actually is by putting it off. Imagine the feeling of relief when it’s finally complete. How will it impact your daily routine and what more can you get done without all the worrying? Chances are you’ll have a clearer outlook and be more productive.
Make yourself accountable Talk to someone about it and ask them to check in on your progress from time to time. That way you’re fully accountable if you start stalling again. Who knows, they might even offer a fresh perspective and help you figure out a new way to tackle it.
Take a look back at a time you’ve felt like a true champion at something
Whether it’s feeling motivated by someone you truly believe in, championing the achievements of somebody who deserved that recognition inside of work or out, or winning that egg and spoon race trophy at Sport’s Day in year five, there’s definitely something you’ve nailed. It’s easy to get lost in the slog of a major project, so take the time to think about a time you felt like you did a spectacular job and how it made you feel. You can put that adrenaline to good use, giving your task everything you’ve got, however big or small it may be.
Put on your favourite music Lift your mood and diffuse that looming project with the music you love. Some people simply focus better with headphones on. Going back to point #1, you’ve re-energised yourself, taken a break and set yourself a time frame in which to get it done. If drum ‘n’ bass helps you power through with no distractions, then mission accomplished.
Know that you can do it
Don’t doubt yourself. Believe you can get it done without spending hours rationalising every minor detail. It has been assigned to you because you’re fully capable. Extinguish any self-doubt you might have and give it all you’ve got.
I don’t know about you but I just love Christmas! I purchased my new outside Rudolph a couple of weeks ago from my local garden centre – I couldn’t resist him. He was the last one one on the shelf and looked so lonely that I just had to have him. My husband looked on with that patient, “Oh please can it be over soon?” look on his face, but then even he admitted when we got home that Rudolph did look great on the enclosed porch.
When travelling through Amsterdam airport this week imagine my delight when I spotted the pop up Christmas shop in the arrival area just by the exit. I willed myself not to go in however a quick look at my watch told me that I could afford ten minutes. There is something very special about looking at Christmas decorations in another country. Everything was either white, grey or sliver, such a classy shop.
As we are getting close to Christmas it’s of course time for the annual WICT Christmas networking event. Cooley are very kindly hosting this on 8 December and we are very lucky to have a speaker, Ann Montgomery, from our Netherlands office of Liberty Global. Ann was heavily involved in WICT US and was a member of their board for a long time so I’m really looking forward to hearing her speak and to network with you all as well.
The invites have already been sent out so make sure you sign up soon as space is limited.
“If women are going to lead in business, they’re going to have to lead themselves”. Said Hoda Kotb (NBC host and bestselling author) who gave the opening keynote speech at the WICT Leadership Conference in New York at the end of September. This was not her saying that there’s no support to help women progress their careers. However she was making a point about how we have to take ownership of our own progression.
Approximately 800 women and a few brave men attended the conference. It was amazing to be in the presence of so many talented, professional women all striving to make a difference and succeed in our amazing industry. As I joined various breakout sessions and a Chapter leaders group I was struck again by the importance of having a diverse group of people contributing to an agenda. Indeed I lead a WICT UK board made up of 13 women plus myself and it’s a great development opportunity managing an agenda where everyone is super passionate and wants to contribute! So ask yourself what development opportunity can I find this month and what am I going to do to lead myself to lead in business.
Halloween is almost upon us… and then the Christmas decorations will be in the shops. Make sure you’re holding the 8th December for our WICT Christmas event hosted by Virgin Media.
Huge thank you to all who made it to our September event, Leadership – Sharing the Vision, during which our panel of top media executives shared the advantages and challenges of being a leader and their secret recipes for leadership success. In case you missed it, here are some of the key messages our speakers had to share.
Honor Pollock, on the recruitment differences between men and women, said that whilst she finds that men are often much more apt to promoting themselves in a work environment than their female counterparts. Men often give a much more defined view or who they are, their strengths in the workplace and how they want to develop their career. She advised to the room that women often need to work on their self-promotion and not be afraid to put themselves forward and shout about their strengths.
Michelle Russo’s key piece of advice was to be fearless and always have the confidence to pursue your goals and ask for help. She has the view that to be a leader you should chase a title but instead a career, if you are passionate about what you do then others will want to follow, and that is the key quality of a great leader.
Phillip Luff told the room that that if he could go back in time and warn his younger self it would be to ‘slow down and look where you are going’ both physically and mentally. After being involved in an accident while crossing the road he confessed that he was in a place in his life where he was just speeding ahead without thinking, after the accident he made sure he never rushed again and set his career at a pace that he was comfortable with and in control of.
See you all at our upcoming Christmas networking event, Tuesday 8 December. More details to follow shortly.
Well it’s definitely the end of the summer with all the rain we’ve been having!
I’m writing this month’s newsletter introduction from Liberty Global’s offices as I’ve just transferred to a new role as VP, People for our Finance and Support functions. After six years at Virgin Media I was sad to leave however I’m thrilled to join our parent company at such an exciting time. The industry we work in is ever changing and at such pace and with starting a new role my contacts at WICT and the people I regularly meet are an invaluable source of information and support.
In preparation for my move I reminded myself of how important it is to take the time to build relationships, listen, learn and reflect before launching into action. It’s so important to understand the context of operations particularly in a support function. I’m learning a lot and also beginning to think about areas I need to gain exposure to in order to aid my knowledge development. Having structured induction meetings is so important regardless of your level in an organisation!
One area that has been great development for me over the last 18 months has been leading the WICT UK Board and I’m delighted to announce two new appointments to this as we continue to develop our remit and activities. Lorraine Delanoy (Turner) has joined as our Membership Chair covering Sarah O’Connor’s maternity leave, and Judy Goldberg joins as our Mentoring Director. Judy runs her own training consultancy, Wondershift, and we know her well from her excellent facilitation at our Q2 event. Judy will start to investigate a Mentoring programme for WICT UK to launch in 2016. We warmly welcome both Lorraine and Judy to the Board. I’ve taken this opportunity to share with you the full Board contact list should you wish to make contact with any of us. They all do an amazing job of these voluntary roles whilst delivering in their busy day jobs and I’d like to publicly thank them for all that they do.
The team are busy preparing for our Q3 event at Discovery on the 24 September. We have an amazing panel line up and I look forward to seeing you there.
Key highlights from the WICT UK March conference including insights on Deloitte’s consumer survey with a specific focus on how these findings and predictions impact women in our industry.
-Leila Travis, Head of Planning at Thinkbox
-Emma Scott, Advisor to the Board at DC Thomson and former MD at Freesat
-Paul Lee, Partner, Telco, Media &Tech Insights at Deloitte UK
-Cornelia Calugar-Pop, Manager, Telco, Media & Tech Insights at Deloitte UK
-Sharon Kyle, Culture & Inclusion Manager at Virgin Media
1. 3 Ways to Stand Up and Be Heard When You’re on a Competitive Team “Who doesn’t love to work on a high-performing team? It’s motivating to work with smart, dedicated colleagues who constantly add value to projects and are quick to execute on their responsibilities, then ask, ‘What’s next?’
But in some high-performing teams, collaboration gets put aside as competition heats up. Co-workers play verbal ping-pong in meetings, constantly promote their achievements, and put in long hours to try to gain an edge over their colleagues.
So what does it take to speak up and have a voice when you work in a highly competitive team?”
Happy summer everyone! I hope that you have enjoyed or are about to enjoy a break from work. I have realised over the years just how important it is to ensure I use all my holiday entitlement and I’m proud to say that I use all 25 days I get at Virgin Media every year without fail! I’m also not afraid to admit that when I’m on holiday I really do try to switch off and don’t connect with the office. It’s so important to re-charge your batteries and take time out and reflect.
This is where having a strong team in place helps to ensure that your function can operate without you being there. It’s a great development opportunity for your number two(s) to cover important meetings as your delegate and I’ve always found that my team enjoy this responsibility and it’s invaluable. This reminds me of the importance of always developing your team, giving them these opportunities, and ensuring that there is a succession plan in place. What if I won the lottery next week (now it would help if I actually played it!) but it’s the responsibility of a leader to ensure that your team are ready to ‘step up’ in any event.
I’m really looking forward to my holiday on the 13 August. Ten years ago my husband and I wrote a list of over 20 trips and places we wanted to visit and we’ve been working our way through the list. We’re off on an Alaskan cruise and then to the Rocky Mountains in Canada to hike and appreciate the beautiful scenery. We also have a two day pit stop in Seattle as my best friend is coming with us and that was on her list. I’m hoping Starbucks has a coffee tour…
I hope to see lots of you on the 24 September at our next event hosted by Discovery. It’s going to be a great leadership panel with senior people from our industry (more to follow) with a chance to have an educational tour of their European media centre. Be quick to register when the invitation lands as I know this is going to be really popular and space is limited!