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CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Margot Andersen Dr Jenny Brockis Melissa Browne Nikki Fogden-Moore

Renata Cooper


Colin Boyd Jen Brown Kylie D’Costa Carolyn Dean Alison Flemming Suzie Hoitink Anastasia Massouras Linda Murray Sarah Mitchell Sarah Poole Zahrina Robertson Karl Schwantes Sam Trattles Emily Verstege




© LBDG 2015 All content in this newsletter is protected under Australian and International copyright laws. Reproduction in whole or in part without the written permission of LBDGroup is strictly forbidden. The greatest care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of information in this online magazine at time of going to press, and we accept no responsibility for omissions or errors. All rights reserved.

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How did 2015 end up for you? What worked well? What do you want to achieve and maybe do differently in 2016? I love this time of year - the time spent with family and friends, the chance to rejuvenate and relax, to hang at the beach. I equally love using this holiday period to plan my next year – to vision board what I want to achieve in the year ahead and to set those all important goals. I spend some time looking back at the year that has been – identifying what worked well, the successes, the achievements, the steps forward and equally

the learnings and improvements. More importantly, I think about what I want to achieve in the year ahead for my family, my business and myself.

LBD – businesswomen who are generous of time, generous of spirit, generous of compassion and generous of support. I wish you all a wonderful and restful time this holiday period. Enjoy the quality time with your nearest and dearest, those special people in your own tribes. Rejuvenate. Relax. Laugh until your face hurts. I am looking forward to supporting you all in your dreams of success in 2016.

What word best describes you, your business philosophy, your leadership, your goals for 2016? Can you sum it up in one word? One word that when summed up drives you, your way of thinking, your way of doing and being. Independence. Profitability. Freedom. Growth. Fearless. Happy. These are all words that may apply to where you want to be in Continue to… 2016. Connect ~ Collaborate ~ Succeed Don’t be frightened to make your word a strong one. YOU have the ability to change your game. YOU can challenge your status quo. Become someone that matters, be your best, shine your light and help others to equally become the best of them. JANINE GARNER PUBLISHER / EDITOR 2015 has been a great year for so many members of the LBDGroup – many have experienced significant successes this year as businesses have expanded, as books have been published, as careers have taken new heights, as new businesses have been launched, as accolade after accolade have been awarded. It is an absolute pleasure to support each and every one of our LBDGroup community in their vision and big picture dreams and goals for the future. What I value above all are the friendships that are being formed and the support that this is creating across the country through BUY FROM ME TO WE NOW! the highs and the lows of business. This is GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016 | 3

p e e K s y a A lw n e p o n A d n i m

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YOU ARE Kate Kendall What made you start CloudPeeps after The Fetch? I had the idea for CloudPeeps and The Fetch around the same time back in 2010. I kicked off The Fetch first and it grew to be my full-time focus for a couple of years before I hit a pain point in scaling the company. We’d had investment offers but I was bootstrapping it on a tight budget, which meant I couldn’t hire people full-time or afford local marketing agencies. I knew other freelance marketplace sites existed but would never trust them to hire someone in a communications or marketing related role. It wasn’t so much about finding the cheapest person in the world – it was more about finding the right person at the right budget who understood my market. From there, I realised how important CloudPeeps was and that the timing was right to build it. We launched the product in 2015. CloudPeeps is at an interesting stage of growth. What’s been happening recently? We’ve had a really eventful year and have grown a lot. We spent a lot of the early days 8 | GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016

figuring out product-market fit and collecting user feedback. Recently, we’ve started to shift our focus to growth and getting the word out about CloudPeeps as much as possible. Our mission is to allow everyone the freedom to work the way they want, wherever they are. We do this through our marketplace, our community and our platform’s tools. The thing I’m most excited by right now, is opening up our product to allow freelancers to run their entire freelance business on the platform. By 2020, over 40% of the US workforce will be freelancing so it’s great to be servicing this emerging market now. How did / do you find the experience of asking for funding as a woman? We raised an angel round of funding in 2014 and it was my first time fundraising. People like to think being a woman has no impact on your ability to raise funds but it does. Investors are conscious of gender – and this can work in positive or negative ways. We have a lot of female investors in the round that are actively trying to increase diversity – and take a chance on a new

breed of founder. So, being female helped there. In general, investors are often looking at patterns and behaviours they deem to be indicators of success. There is a certain game around fundraising that people play to orchestrate interest and appear cocksure. This also leads into the unicorn-club culture and questionably-high valuations that we’ve seen in Silicon Valley of late. If you don’t fit the mould (e.g. white, straight, young male who went to Stanford and coming from YC), you often have to hustle harder and longer. That said, my biggest piece of advice is to be true to you – and play your own game. It’s refreshing. What is the difference between Australia and the US - from the perspective of women in startups? I will mostly comment on Australia from my experience there before moving to New York in 2013 as it’s likely evolved now. To start, I would often feel isolated in Australia – for many years I was practically the only woman at startup events and didn’t feel heard. Separate female entrepreneurship events

existed but these were often fluffy and pink – and less focused on tech. In 2012, Startup Genome released a report showing that New York had close to 20% female founders in the ecosystem, while Sydney was at 3%. Being a female founder in New York was a positive experience since I was around many peeps. You recently met Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop. Can you tell us a bit about it? The Foreign Minister was in the US doing a trade and innovation trip. We met with her and the Ambassador of Australia to the US, Kim Beazley, along with a handful of other entrepreneurs. We discussed how we can improve the startup ecosystem in Australia and the role government can play. It was an honour to be involved, and I was absolutely chuffed to hear CloudPeeps mentioned on the floor of Australian Parliament a few weeks later. You were recently featured as one of the nine most influential Aussie entrepreneurs on Twitter. Can you share a few quick tips GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 9

for other business women trying to build their brand on social media? It was a lovely surprise to be ranked the most influential Australian entrepreneur on Twitter! I have been on Twitter since early 2008 – in the early days, it felt like there were only 20 or so Australians on the platform so we all got to know each other well. Originally, I built my following by sharing interesting content – everyone does it now but back then Twitter was mostly used to share what you were doing. I do a lot more conversation with a select community now and don’t automate or schedule anything. I think the key is to be incredible thoughtful, authentic and listen a lot to what’s going on. So many businesses cue up a mountain of content, push it out and don’t focus on engaging people. The reality is if you want to do it well, it takes time. That said, we have a lot of influencers and professionals hiring freelancers on CloudPeeps to help manage their social channels to save time. What are your top predictions for 2016? }} Freelance will become mainstream

}} Large companies will organise around the worker and hire freelancers

}} As demand for freelancers increases, so will their income }} More startups will turn to freelancers to help scaling }} We’ll see the rise of the full-stack marketer }} Workplaces will become more distributed with remote workers

}} Freelancers will turn freelancing into long-term careers }} More companies will create benefit solutions for freelancers

}} Freelancers will build more products for fellow freelancers

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}} With annual earnings of $715 billion, politicians will be forced to address to freelancers’ needs

Kate Kendall is a San Francisco-based, British-Australian entrepreneur and writer. She’s the founder and CEO of CloudPeeps – a talent marketplace that matches businesses with the world’s top freelance marketing, content and community professionals. She also created The Fetch – a curated guide to the best events and industry reads for professionals. She started out as a business journalist and more recently, led growth and digital at magazine companies, handled outreach for new startups and helped businesses understand the role of community. General Assembly named her blog in the top 10 startup founder blogs to read in 2014. Connect with her on Twitter via @ katekendall Find out more here.


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You would expect a woman like Alison Atkins to embrace innovation. The geologist turned computer programmer has spent her entire career surrounded by smart people and big ideas. But it’s not software, productivity or yields that get Atkins excited. If you want to see her face light up,talk about building a resilient company. “People talk about innovation as being purely around technology. For me, innovation is any change you can make that pivots things for the best,” she says. Atkins is Director of Operations at acQuire Technology Solutions, an international software company specialising in Geoscientific Information Management (GIM) products and services. Originating in Perth, Western Australia, acQuire currently employs 120 staff working in seven offices around the globe, with support centres operating in each major time zone.

INNOVATION IN HIRING After more than 16 years at acQuire, Atkins knows integrity, respect and trust foster business innovation. The employee-owned company dedicates considerable time and resources to hiring employees with skills to work in a complex technical environment. 12 | GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016

Finding people with the right cultural fit to become part of the close-knit team is just as important. That means recruiting people with the same core philosophies.

“When you’ve got the right culture and everyone has a core vision, it’s easier to work towards a common goal,” says Atkins.

It also means the hiring process can be lengthy. Once a person with the right skills is identified, they’re shortlisted and interviewed much like any other company. If they’re identified as a professional fit for a specific role, they go through a cultural interview. “We want to know if they align with our values and we align with theirs,” says Atkins. “Brutal honesty is one of our values and everyone is encouraged to voice their opinions.”

“That can be quite confronting if you don’t understand how transparent we are as an

organisation - how open we are.”

Candidates spend up to half a day in role-playing simulation to see how they communicate in a given situation or how they solve problems. If the candidate doesn’t do well in the role-playing phase of the hiring process, they’re not offered a job regardless of how talented they might be. “As much as it’s important to put a bum on a seat, we want to make sure it’s the right one.”

“If you get the wrong person, you’ll do it again in six months’ time. You wear that pain of not getting the right person right up front.”


INNOVATION IN MENTORING People don’t climb a career ladder at acQuire; they’re pulled up by mentors. In fact, there are no set career pathways in any department, for any role. Each employee works to an individual career roadmap, a recognition that no two people share the same ambitions for their personal and professional life.

While many companies talk about mentoring programs as an aspirational goal, acQuire has structured their company to guarantee 100 per cent compliance. Every person at acQuire is assigned a mentor – a cultural leader – on their first day of employment. The relationship is permanent and enduringly successful partly because cultural leaders all hold director positions in the company. The other part is a broad recognition that employee motivations change on a regular basis.

Work/life balance is seldom discussed at acQuire because it’s baked into the DNA of the company. In fact, it’s a term shunned because it’s an indication of a separation between life and work and not an integration INNOVATION IN RETENTION of the two. Each employee has the ability to tailor their working week to create a schedule STRATEGIES complementing their lifestyle. Still, Atkins acQuire measures what might be motivating keeps a close eye on how milestones are an employee at any point in time. Triggers being achieved. like moving house and having a baby are “It’s quite a contradiction but one of the considered alongside traditional events like things we tell employees regularly in the finishing a university degree for determining organisation is they’re working too many when someone might need a different hours. They’re taking things too personally,” experience in their career. she says. “We work really hard to retain people,” “The mining industry is going through a says Atkins. “Having trust and open down cycle at the moment so people feel a communication helps.” lot of responsibility to close a deal, to get an “Our goal is to produce the best GIM implementation right, to achieve what’s best technology, the best services, the best for the organisation. training, the best customer engagement.” Contradictory or not, enforcing reasonable work hours and respecting an employee’s “Profit is an outcome of reaching those personal life pays off. goals. It doesn’t drive them.” We wouldn’t succeed anywhere near as much as we have if it wasn’t for the foundations of our organizational culture,” explains Atkins.

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FOSTERING EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION A spirit of reward and recognition is vital to the culture at acQuire. Dividends to employee owners and profit sharing are common during boom time but recognition often has nothing to do with financial incentives. In downturns, employees are awarded additional days of annual leave.

But Atkins believes rewards also come in feedback and celebration for achievements like finishing projects and closing deals. She’s excited about an employee suggestion to have a portal on the company intranet for staff to call out their peers for special recognition for good work.

And here’s an interesting fact from a company with something other than profit as a primary goal. acQuire has never made anyone redundant despite the volatility of both software and resources industries. When commodity prices go down, even the best people lose jobs, but not if they’re employed at acQuire. “If we lost people in the organisation, it would take a long time to upskill somebody for the next boom cycle,” says Atkins. “It’s just so short sighted when companies do that.”

STRATEGY OF RENEWAL acQuire reinvests between 20 and 25 per cent of their annual revenue into research and development every year. While the software industry may view this commitment as extravagant, Atkins believes it’s absolutely necessary for resilience. “We’re a privately owned organisation so we’re not beholden to external shareholders that drive our profits,” says Atkins.

“It’s very easy to innovate and be a lot more flexible with our innovation.”

“We have the flexibility to fail. That’s probably one of the key success factors I see at acQuire.” acQuire’s focus on staffing innovation has made them immune to mining’s boom and bust cycles. Though they operate in an extremely competitive industry, the undercurrent radiating throughout the open plan office in Perth is one of calm productivity. It didn’t happen by chance.

Alison Atkins and the rest of the acQuire team are fiercely protective of the valuesbased culture they all see as essential to the long-term resiliency of the company. And you can see why. With the entire staff operating from a foundation of trust and working towards a core vision, it’s obvious they’re perfectly positioned to deliver the best technology possible.

Sarah Mitchell is the Director of Content Strategy at Lush Digital Media, co-host of the Brand Newsroom podcast, and the Chair of Braemar Presbyterian Care. She’s long been a fan of those brave souls who decide there’s a better way to conduct business. Contact Sarah here 14 | GLOSS DEC 2015

L L A E R A WE E H T N E G IV S R U O H E SAM Y A D A IN ! M E H T E - L IV GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 15

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the thundering rush towards Christmas, I’ve been spending a lot of time in taxis. Most of these are covered in industry-sponsored anti-Uber propaganda, the ads appealing simultaneously to my sense of fairness and personal safety. I was brave enough (just once) to ask a taxi driver his opinion of Uber, and was thrown back into my seat by a hot wall of angry sentiment.

The taxi industry is in an advanced

state of freak out about the changing landscape of competition, which is being driven by innovative technologies. It’s an industry paralysed by its emotion, most notably anger.

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Psychologists tell us that anger is a surface emotion: it’s easier to feel anger than it is to address what’s driving the emotion. (Often it’s fear, hurt or pain.) And the stories we tell ourselves like, ‘It’s not fair that I am being forced to work extra shifts because Uber drivers are stealing my customers’ help us to sustain our anger. It’s not just the taxi industry feeling this way. This year, as I’ve worked with large and small organisations, across the country and the public and private sector, I’ve heard similar angry stories about how technology is ruining our businesses.

“The losers will be those who ignore disruptive trends and hope that their customers will go back to the good old days.”

Psychologists will also tell us we can only break free of anger when we decide to stop repeating self-serving stories and are willing to explore what’s lying underneath our anger. My Christmas wish is that your business has the opportunity to reflect on how you could revitalise your business’ approach (or help your customers plan their new approach) to technology in 2016. Here are three thoughts to get you started.

UNDERSTAND THAT YOUR WORLD HAS CHANGED Thanks to the innovators and early

adopters, the world has already changed. In a recent presentation, futurist and all-round clever thinker Anders Sorman-Nilsson said that in our digitally adapted world, the losers will be those (like the taxi industry) who ignore disruptive trends and hope that their customers will go back to the ‘good old days’. I’m sure you know, right down in your gumboots, that we can’t put the digital genie back in the (flexible electronic, self-assembling, nano particulate) bottle. It is well and truly out. The stark reality is that if you don’t adapt, your business will not thrive and it may not survive. GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 19



by focusing on how different we are from disruptors and not on what we can learn from them and apply to our own businesses or industry. So muster your courage, and get ready to play the adaptation game!

It’s time to get comfortable with the idea that not everyone will be a digital disruptor. And thank goodness for that. Can you imagine the chaos HEAD DOWN, BUM UP! of a world full of disruptors? It would be like setting off a bunch of My favourite response to innovation homemade crackers inside a tin shed. Unpredictable, explosive and downright and competition is the sleeves rolled up version. Businesses who’ve moved dangerous. beyond the blame game are swelling in numbers, like a guerilla movement. The I believe that we’re contributing to thing is, you won’t see these businesses our own stuckness and overwhelm by getting caught in the tidal wave of press splashed across social media. And you and fanfare that accompanies each new certainly won’t hear the good folk on product announcement from Apple, or Australian talk back radio sympathising headline about industries being turned with unions about shutting these businesses down. No, these businesses upside down by disruptive players. - I like to call them leveragers - are just We are making ourselves miserable getting on with it.

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an unfathomable amount of cash and are built to last: they’re not the kind • Inhabit new niches in old markets. of asset class most businesses invest in regularly, or turn over quickly. So, They appreciate that digital under the direction of Sanjeev Adala transformation is already showing (CDO), the 90-year old business took in cinemas near them and that a left turn. Adala’s team realised that they need to buy a gold class ticket. their big yellow machines were full Instinctively, leveragers understand that their old business processes and of sophisticated sensory equipment, approaches, although profitable, may the data from which could be mined to predict maintenance and to drive not be sufficient to support them in insight and responses into work health the transformed world. and safety. And bingo, a new, lower• Seek to thrive, not just survive. cost, faster-moving revenue stream that They use data-driven insights delivers great value to their customers. to grow their business in new directions. The directions that data- I love that leveragers aren’t wasting mining and exploration take them - valuable time complaining about how and the incredible, customer-focused their industry used to be. They’re simply getting on with their business in product and service development new, exciting, profitable and digitally that occurs as a result - catapults transformed ways. these businesses into a new era of competitiveness and relevance.



Like disruptors, only silent.

Caterpillar makes big yellow machines that dig and shovel and do dirty grunt work. These hefty bits of metal cost

Dr Emily Verstege is an internationally published researcher, public policy analyst and tech startup survivor, who’s passionate about simplifying complexity. At Multiplicité, she helps forward-thinking businesses fast track their journey to digital leadership by focusing on business architecture, user experience and data science. Her work increases engagement, activations and efficiency. Contact Emily here

STARTUPS IN 2016 BUILDING A MORE SUSTAINABLE INDUSTRY Renata Cooper he year has flown past and, what a year it has been. For Australian startups and small businesses, it has been a mixed bag of optimism fuelled by increased funding, a more robust startup environment, changes supporting small businesses and more women in business; coupled with caution and worry over weaker stocks, reality checks for many startups, falling mineral and fuel prices and increasing unemployment.

positive about the future. Many startups and small businesses are using the optimism to focus on growth – in Australia and globally. It is important we do so as PwC estimates that the Australian startup sector could deliver $109 billion to the economy and create over half a million jobs by 2033. So how can we sustain the growth through 2016 and what are some of the trends that will continue to shape this segment?

Greater global collaboration between countries other than the US Australia is slowly looking outside the US While small business confidence has declined for growth opportunities and to increase lately, Westpac’s most recent small business innovative and collaborative partnerships. index indicates that business owners are more Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull just

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completed a five-nation tour to discuss trade and partnership opportunities with other countries such as Germany, in an effort to increase jobs locally. The Bridge Summit, the first Israel-Australia investment conference in November, looked at greater collaboration between the startup communities of the two countries. The world, and the startup community, is moving beyond just focusing on Silicon Valley and the US. As the Australian Financial Review noted recently, the presence of CBA and Telstra in Israel, rather than in Silicon Valley, says a lot about the country’s capacity to harness its intellectual capital to create worldleading software technologies. More brand partnerships Startups are conquering the world. But they cannot do it themselves and, as a result, we are seeing an increase in the number of brand partnerships. Event space booking platform iVvy partnered with restaurant booking tool Dimmi and, Workible, a recruitment app that matches jobs with recruiters partnered with Near Field Communications (NFC) company Tapit to offer ‘tap and go’ features on their app. Flexible collaborations are allowing lean startups to scale, offer more and build stronger value propositions around their brands. They are benefitting from being able to access combined brains trust without high overheads. This model will continue to grow and evolve in 2016. Pricing for profits Low pricing and a focus on growing user bases that define startups and fuel their success in the initial years could be the very things bringing them down after a while. Zirtual learnt the lesson when they charged only $99 a month and later, stayed loyal to the plans – costing them revenue.

More recently, Snapchat and Dropbox have dropped millions in valuation due to the lack of clear revenue strategies. These are not exceptions to the rule. 71% of US companies that had their IPO in 2014 were unprofitable. A solid pricing and profitability strategy is the only way to survive in the long run. Pricing margins have to be evaluated against growth to build more sustainable businesses. Reality check Although funding opportunities have increased, startups that have been in the business for two or three years are fighting to continue disrupting the industry and to increase revenue. Last year, I said that 2015 would be the year for startups to scale and grow significantly or face harsh realities about their ventures. Dropbox and Snapchat’s devaluation reiterate the challenge in trying to grow revenue from great ideas. With increased funding support from angel investors, banks and even the likes of James Packer, the pitching platform has never been as active. The mood is similar to that of the dotcom era – even the expectation of a bubble burst. 2015 has been a reality check for many businesses. This will continue in 2016 and will either reinforce the strength of Australian startups or go the same way as dotcoms 10 years ago. Adoption of corporate practices One of the main reasons big successful corporations have maintained global leadership and success for decades is their adherence to processes and systems. Agility, the fundamental reason startups succeed, is often why they come crashing down too. While the adoption of a complete corporate GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 23

style is detrimental to entrepreneurial and startup spirit, constantly trying to “get things done quick” and grow fast is not ideal either. A middle ground needs to be established for resource efficiency / alignment and structured growth. Processes and systems are unsexy and cumbersome. But, it needs to be done – in a manner that suits each organisation. Many startups are realising this and taking a few pages out of corporate handbooks to work more efficiently. As 2015 draws to a close, here’s to a more dynamic 2016 filled with the courage to change and evolve. Dream big, think big and take action.

Renata Cooper is the founder of Forming Circles Global, a unique angel investment and mentoring organisation that predominantly invests in female technology startups. Committed to empowering women entrepreneurs, Renata has invested in over 100 national and global businesses, individual and organisations since 2011. She is a member of Scale Investors and a muru-D mentor. Find out more here. 24 | GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016

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“Managing energy, not time, is the fundamental currency of high performance. Performance is grounded in the skilful management of energy” - Tony Schwartz

Conversely if you have ever worked with people who are constantly tired, stressed or drained of energy and enthusiasm they invariably leave you feeling like you’ve had the life sucked right out of you. You walk out Most of us will have grown up all too familiar of meetings feeling deflated, directionless and with the Energizer Bunny commercials unmotivated. One group radiates vitality and where the drum playing, sunglass wearing the other drains it. pink rabbit with the cheeky grin outlasted all other toys because of the super charged Business Vitality is often referred to as the power source that the Energizer battery degree to which an organisation is successful range offered. Its’ energy, enthusiasm and in the eyes of their customers, employees and endurance kept on delivering when all the shareholders. Measures of vitality will include other toys gradually lost their rhythm and client and employee retention, stock price, ultimately ground to a halt. profits, revenue growth and operating costs. Have you ever noticed how exceptional leaders who consistently deliver exceptional results personify the same traits? They not only seem to continue giving and delivering but they do it in a style that personifies confidence, fulfilment and passion. Think about the leaders you have worked with who represent what it means to be ‘fully alive’. How did they influence you, inspire you, or make you feel? No doubt you just felt better for being around them - more confident, capable and energetic. These leaders tend to inspire you and have a way of breathing life and vitality into both people and projects.

Often referred to as the ‘soft measures’ things such as public trust, innovation, collaboration, employee well-being and employee engagement are also critical. More and more organisations though are realising that these so-called ‘soft measures’ are better viewed as the critical measures. For it is these critical measures that determine and drive the hard measures. The reality is when an organisation’s leaders and people are running on empty tanks, everything suffers. It is the loss of personal vitality that has a definable cost to the business and heavily impacts on both productivity and profitability. If we want to GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 27


build and/or lead businesses rich in these things we need to start paying attention to the health and vitality of ourselves as leaders so that we can positively impact our people and our clients and customers. As the speed at which we do business continues to accelerate and the market volatility and rate of change remains a constant, vitality is fast becoming recognised as a ‘must have’ leadership trait. In a climate where we as leaders are constantly being asked to do ‘more with less’ - less resources, less money and less people – we need to ensure that we know how to effectively manage our energy levels and not fall into the all too common trap of responding by simply working longer hours. ‘If I just do more, work harder things will improve and I will get through it’. When we don’t simply ‘get through it’ we start to question our capability, purpose and impact. AND our 28 | GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016

people notice it! It can all too easily become a viscious cycle that if we aren’t careful robs us; our people; and our businesses of vitality, essence and spirit. Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, authors of The Power of Full Engagement, argue that managing energy and not time is the key to personal and business vitality. They detail how mobilising our key sources of energy, balancing how we spend it with how we renew it and the energy habits we create, is critical to our success. Their recommended practices above for renewing the four sources of energy with the aim of becoming more vital are well worth examining. ..

Leadership Vitality is about developing a critical life force that builds sustainable productivity and profitability. It starts with you! I would encourage you to take some time as we enter into a period of rest and relaxation that you consider and plan for how you can personally do this for the coming year. You and your business will thank you for it!

Margot is the Owner and Director of talent insight Australia, a company founded on the principle that true career fulfilment and organisational success occurs when individuals and businesses talk openly and honestly about what they need, their responsibilities, and genuinely work to bring out the best in each other. Find out more here.

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Sam Trattles

“I really don’t like negotiating.” If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this statement…

I am one of the freaks – I love negotiating! It’s so much a part of my life I don’t even notice that I’m doing it (outside of a formal structured process of course). With these qualifications I have been asked to share some thoughts on how I may be able to convert you to my way of thinking…

In simple terms a negotiation is a value conversation – what value do you and the other party place on something and how does that value differ. Therefore, you need to strip away the emotion, and focus purely on the worth.

a positive result, you will be so proud of yourself.

• You will need to accept that it will feel extremely awkward in the beginning and people may say no – if that happens just smile and say ‘Thanks, I just thought I’d ask’. • Each interaction will help make you a better, more confident negotiator.


• Negotiation is all about value – a desire to pay what you think it’s worth (to you and/or relative to the market). So do your homework and know what that specifically means to you.

• Research what else is in the market and how much it is valued at. In no uncertain terms – emotions are negotiation killers. It’s what we bring to the table that makes PRACTICE it feel daunting. It’s the baggage we carry around • Shop at stores that are open to negotiation on about money that makes it personal and stifles price - places such as Bing Lee, The Good our success. Guys or JB Hi-Fi. Consider what happens when you don’t participate in a negotiation because you feel uncomfortable…What happens when you don’t ask for what you really want because you don’t want to upset the apple cart… Typically, you are left feeling ripped off or disappointed.

So, if you sit in the I really don’t like it camp, below are some tips on how to strengthen your negotiation muscle:


• The thought of negotiating will probably fill you with dread, but if you do it and get 30 | GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016

• Ask them the cost, then ask them if that’s their best price? Then WAIT, give them 15 seconds to consider what you have asked them (watch your watch if need be). They will typically say, we can probably do something, then they will take you to the computer (for them to check their margin on that item). In my experience, they will always propose something cheaper. • The more confident you become, the more you will be able to push them a little harder by simply saying ‘is that really the BEST you can do’? Perhaps tell them you’re paying by cash (note: cash doesn’t mean folding money,

just not on credit).


• Visit the farmer’s markets – in Sydney I recommend Paddy’s Market Flemington, but anywhere similar will be a good training ground.

• Ask them how much for 1 banana, they are used to people buying things in bulk, so they may be surprised by this question. Then ask them how much for 3 bananas – if they say it’s $1 for 1 and $3 for 3 – tell them you’ll give them $2 for 3. In my experience they are highly likely to say yes, or counter offer at $2.50. • Don’t over think it, just throw it out there and see if they catch it. People in this industry typically love the game of haggling, you’ll probably get a smile out of them ta boot! • And guess, what…PR AC T ICE

As you wander through your day start noticing all the opportunities available to you to negotiate. It doesn’t matter if you end up with nothing, the point is that you asked, and that way when it does matter you will be a little more comfortable in asking to pay a little less here or to get a little more there. In no time you should start to notice

a shift in your confidence levels in negotiations, and hopefully a little less anxiety at the prospect of it.

If you have a major deal that you require assistance in building a negotiation strategy for please let me know, I’d love to help!

Sam Trattles helps bring perspective to challenges you may be experiencing with your Deals – generating, pitching or negotiating. She works with corporate brands, rights holders and agencies to build strategies to win more business and deliver maximum value from their deals, and she loves it! Contact Sam here

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VISUAL MANAGEMENT, CREATIVITY AND ENGAGEMENT Kylie D’Costa If You Asked One Of Your Employee’s ‘How Do You Know If You’ve Had A Good Day’ How Many Of Them Would Be Able To Provide A Meaningful And Accurate Answer? How many times have you stared at an elaborately created spreadsheet, only to ask – so are we on track or not? The human brain can process visual information 60,000 times faster than text, so why are we will still flooding our teams with graphs and spreadsheets, and then wondering why we don’t get their engagement? To remain competitive we need to be creative. To quote Bette Fetter, ‘The ability to draw and communicate visually can no longer be seen as optional’. If we want our teams to be our competitive advantage we need to think differently, and provide them 32 | GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016

with tools that encourage it. Visualising performance is important as it helps to break down perceptions, and validate actual performance. A good visual display can provide communication, encourage participation and be a great tool to celebrate and track success. It’s also a great conversation starter and can prompt questions as to drivers for good, and not so good performance. Effective visual tools should be quick to update, clear to understand and informative to read. The key test for any visual tool is how quick an observer can quickly understand key performance indicators and how the team is tracking against them. Problems should be easily identified and there should be evidence of a working continuous improvement process. Making wasteful practices in your businesses and processes visual will drive action and

commitment from your teams – after all, if we can’t see it, how will we fix it? However, many businesses forget the most important rule when it comes to a successful visual management tool: If it’s not what your team wants to know, don’t be surprised when they don’t want to know! Visual management and creativity go hand in hand. So many businesses rely on computer generated trend graphs which are of little interest to employees. Instead of reaching for the print button, ask your team what they want to know, and then work on creative and visual ways to display it. The more creative and visually attractive your information is, the more attention, questions and conversations it is likely to trigger. When you and your team are thinking about setting up visual management tools consider the following to ensure success:

1. Avoid handwriting – writing can be

misunderstood, misinterpreted and removed. It can also be time consuming to complete and there may be team members who are not comfortable writing publicly. Where possible, use pre-populated magnets, signs, and pictures to illustrate your information. The information you report will be done quicker, and in a more standardised way.

2. Make it attractive and fun – if

it looks interesting, people will pay attention. Think colour coding, shapes and pictures. These are great attention grabbers and will have people looking to see what’s happening. And remember, don’t take it too seriously! Cartoons and graphics are a great way to engage employees and have some fun while tracking performance. GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 33


3. Think beyond the printed graph –

some of the best visual management examples I have seen have included the use of ping pong balls, PVC tubing, flags etc. You are only limited by your imagination. What was appropriate for the boardroom may not be appropriate for your teams.

4. Position it thoughtfully – too many

teams have their information or cell boards at the end of a corridor no one ever walks by – when you set up any visual management tool, make sure it is cleverly located and appropriately placed for the specific team. Where possible it should be in the centre of their work space to encourage conversations.

Many businesses track performance in some visual way or another. But the best ones use creative methods to engage the readers of the information and aren’t afraid to have some fun doing it. Visual management is your business’ scorecard – everyone can see it and everyone knows what’s going on. So, get your team together, pull down those dog-eared pie charts and recreate what your visuals look like – and have some fun doing it!

5. Use it! – Use the tool as a talking

point. Focus daily toolbox talks, team briefs and weekly catch ups around the information. Update it in these catch ups, and work to involve team members so they are the ones updating it.

6. Review regularly – if targets change,

update your visuals. If work flows change, update your visuals. If tracking methods change, update your visuals. Ensure your visual management tools clearly and accurately represent the current environment.

7. Be committed to visual management – as a leader, your

commitment to your visual tool is paramount. Once you and your team have created it, be sure to regularly check in – if it’s not updated, go and sort it out immediately. Do not let it slip. If it’s not working, change it; just don’t ignore it.

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Kylie D’Costa is a Lean Thinking addict and enjoys working with teams as they start and progress on their Lean journeys. Having worked in a variety of industries including construction materials and petroleum her experience in a range of operational and process improvement roles have given her a passion for people and process. Contact Kylie here

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ow many times have you been left waiting in a queue, where the sales staff couldn’t even be bothered to acknowledge, you with a simple hello? In today’s world, customer service is something that we all know we need to do, but the real challenge is, how you get the front service team to actually do it. The answer lies in creating a strong team culture. Like an orchestra that is playing to the same sheet of music, having a team that are all delivering the same level of service consistently to your clients can make the difference between someone liking what you are doing, and loving it.

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So how do you create a sustainable world class team culture? In my experience, we as busy business owners can sometimes get too caught up in the day to day running of our business. It might even feel like there are never enough minutes in the day or days in the week. So to think that we need to be responsible for yet another task, can sometimes seem overwhelming. The solution I have found is to appoint someone in your organisation to be responsible for your team’s happiness. This person, like the conductor of an orchestra, should be someone that is loved by your team and has the right temperament to get the team aligned with your team vision. We can all think

about that one friend that we know that can get us excited about trying that new restaurant down the end of the street, and actually get us to go there. It is that persons job, to make sure the team are happy. That surprise and delight elements are created and that the team comes to work every day as I do, in a happy can’t wait to get there frame of mind. I have nicknamed our team culture representative – The Culture Guru. Appointing someone in our business was only the first step. Next we wanted to work out a way to get the team to be the most productive they could be. So we introduced a Nutribullet into the staff room. In today’s world where there GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 37



is so much junk food around, and people are so busy, who has the time to eat healthy? There are numerous research articles that illustrate the value of having a healthy body leading to having a more productive team. Our culture guru guy, makes sure that there is fresh fruit and vegetables for the team to make juices. That way they feel good on the inside and can keep performing at their best.

team tick, can sometimes be as simple as asking the question: What one thing do you think our team doesn’t know about you? The conversations that have been sparked using this simple question, have really helped to form strong bonds within our team.

I am not sure about you, but I regularly get around 120- 150 emails a day. The last thing I want to receive is another email from one of my team. Team culture guru guy, also makes So we have introduced a new way of sure we have a cake for a Xennox team communicating amongst #teamxennox member when it is their birthday. or Xennoxians as we like to call Working on your birthday can ourselves. We now use an app called sometimes feel like a downer, but Voxer. Voxer is a walkie talkie based making it a fun experience can make smart phone app that is like text all the difference to feeling appreciated. messaging on steroids. Team culture After all how can we expect our staff guru, will often leave updates on what to create memorable experiences for the team is doing, a weekly joke, or our clients, if we can’t do the same for congratulating a team member on an them? achievement. Team culture guru, also instigated nicknames for members of Regular meetings are also a must, to the team. This level of camaraderie make sure that your team is a cohesive also allows other team members to team. Finding out what makes your chime in, and participate in team 38 | GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016

fellow team members. It is no longer good enough to have the best musicians; you need an amazing orchestra, who will ultimately be led by a passionate conductor. The effect of having an amazing store culture will not just be seen by your clients, but felt as well. Having a high So what does this all have to do with level functioning team will go a long customer service? Having disengaged way to creating a sustainable business, staff leads to high staff turnover and much like a classical piece of music low productivity. High staff turnover makes it extremely difficult to maintain that can be enjoyed for many years to a consistent high level of client service come. and create memorable experiences. Having your team coming to work with the right mental state is one element of building a world class team. It is not just about having a team that feels appreciated, but understood. A team that works and has fun together is one that pitches in and helps out discussion. The simple transition from a conventional method of commination to one that is fun, allows the whole team to participate, which has gone a long way to strengthening the Xennox Diamonds team culture.

As a national award winning jewellery designer, Karl has an uncanny eye for quality and uniqueness. Over the last 21 years, he has helped over 5,200 couples find their perfect dream ring. From diamonds, to creation and crafting, Karl is the ultimate guide when it comes to helping men create that perfect piece that their partners will love forever. Contact Karl here GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 39


Sarah Poole

Intellectual Property or “IP” has become quite a buzz word in recent years. But even following its deserved rise to prominence, many business owners fail to grasp its broad applicability, including the multiple forms of IP that should be addressed in the context of their business.


By definition IP refers to an umbrella of individual rights, including: • Trade Marks • Copyright • Registered Designs • Patents • Trade Secrets In reality though, these rights often intersect with other neighbouring interests and this is where we see use of the term “IP” expand in reference to: • Confidential information • Various sub-sets of copyright issues, including social media • Workplace issues, including issues surrounding the development of IP by employees and contractors.

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The broad definition of IP and the various sub-categories of interests provide that applicability of IP to any given business can vary dramatically. That is, it can be dictated by: • Industry type • Whether the business is service-based, or alternatively involves the sale and/or manufacture of goods • Size and scale of the business, including number of employees and contractors (and their terms of engagement) • Markets of operation and/or interest, including neighbouring international markets • If the business model centres upon a particularly novel or inventive concept, or being a leader in the field by way of design or “edgy” branding techniques.

It is also often the case that the “value” of the above considerations can vary significantly to individual businesses depending on their objectives, and consequently so does the question of what constitutes an “asset”. Different rights require different maintenance. To complicate matters further, different IP rights require different forms of maintenance. For example, some rights like copyright will subsist automatically following publication while other rights require applying for protection and maintenance thereof (including the payment of fees at various stages). Maintenance of interests is also required by ensuring contracts and agreements in place, including employment contracts, afford the appropriate level of protection GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 41


and remain applicable to the scenarios in which they are being incorporated (as opposed to the continued use of a “proforma” contract that no longer has the capability of addressing the issues it once was drafted to combat). It is also crucial that business owners understand the limitations of any Contracts and Agreements in use – including the difference between IP being generated by an employee and contractor/freelancer and the ownership or “assignment” of that IP.

protection was implemented; (c). Any management changes that may have impacted the development of IP in your business or your protection around IP, including in respect of employees and/or contractors. 5. Current processes and procedures in place to address the maintenance of IP.


As a general rule, it’s cheaper to be proactive about your IP, rather than simply reactive when things go wrong. It also pays to know that you’re leveraging your IP assets effectively. Discussing your business’ IP interests with an expert in the field is the only way to ensure the “health” of your IP. A checklist for this discussion may include: 1. Your business objectives (both now and into the future) 2. What you deem to be crucial “assets” of the business 3. What measures of IP protection you currently have in place (if any) and flag in particular: (a). Any “gaps” you may be concerned about; (b). Any areas of the business that have progressed or changed in nature in recently or since your current IP 42 | GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016

Sarah is an Australian Intellectual Property Lawyer, Registered Trade Marks Attorney & Founder of Marquette IP – a boutique intellectual property firm that specialises in delivering strategically tailored advice to the creative sector. In advising clients on developing legally protectable brands, Sarah draws on industry “ know-how” gained from an additional 3 years’ experience working for a creative branding agency. Find out more here.


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PRODUCTIVITY STARTS IN YOUR MIND. The greatest productivity improvement you’ll ever make is shifting your paradigm. The problem is that many of us are too busy to make these paradigm shifts. We’re overwhelmed all year trying to grow our business and rarely take a moment to stop. You’ve probably upgraded your phone apps 20 times this year, let’s take a moment to upgrade your thinking. Over the next few minutes you’ll discover the three most important paradigms shifts for high-performance productivity. If you can understand and install them into your life you’ll have more time, impact and fulfilment. Here are three paradigms shifts required to make next year your most successful ever:

1. REACTION TO CREATION Have you ever got halfway through your day and realised most of it has been spent answering emails or requests? Getting back to people is an important part of business continuity. However, it has rarely created transformational results. If you live in a state of reaction or response to others, and never carve out space in your calendar to create them, you’ll fail to leap your business or career forward. Most projects and collaborations that result in quantum improvements happen because someone thought of the idea and implemented it. Just like in tennis, serving

the ball is the advantage, so is true in business. To have the upper hand one must create time in the diary to hit some aces. If you’re spending most of your week returning emails, filtering requests and fixing issues, you’re essentially at the mercy of your environment.

YOU’LL NEVER HAVE TIME TO CREATE I recently embarked on a productivity research project. One discovery I made was that the greatest contributor to productivity inefficiency was distractions. From a neuroscience perspective this makes sense. It’s been suggested that our brain is designed to be distracted. Our brain is wired to notice things in our peripheral environment so that we stay safe. That’s great for keeping us alive, i.e. not getting hit by bus, but it’s not great when you think about the common office environment. It’s full of distractions that shout for our attention. This is incredibly challenging when you as a professional are attempting to create momentum in your business. You have to fight the desire to be distracted and find space for focused creation work. You’ll never have time to create. You’ll usually have too much reactionary activity to ever have the space that’s required for innovative thinking. So the only way to get GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 45

BUSINESS this space is to decide to do it despite the workload. Decide right now to have creation time in your calendar next year. Get out of reaction and start carving out time for creation. Practically this looks like making appointments with yourself to brainstorm, innovate, restructure or decide on activity that matters.

2. EFFICIENCY TO LEVERAGE Henry Ford popularised efficiency as being crucial to business success. He established innovative manufacturing and processing techniques. The big idea behind this was reducing downtime and increasing speed. As the personal development movement evolved, people started talking about effectiveness. Stephen Covey popularised this idea in his International bestseller “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” where he discussed the idea of priority. His distinction was focusing on the non-urgent important and not always the urgent important. This was incredibly helpful for productivity. However, things have evolved further. The focus has moved now towards leverage. The pinup boy for this idea would be Tim Ferris. His book “The 4-Hour Work week” made outsourcing, passive income and short sabbaticals famous. The idea here was less about doing important activity and more about doing whatever you damn want. Obviously you can’t do what you want if you haven’t set up leveraged support. But the goal is clear. 46 | GLOSS NOV 2015

Examples of leverage include working with a virtual assistant, using outsourcing services, building online products and individualised yet automated responses. Basically it is asking the question “what can I set up that will ensure I don’t have to do this again in the future?” If done well, it’s like purchasing time. A simple example is direct debit. Instead of manually making the transaction each month, the direct debit automates a process which means you no longer have to be present. THE GREATEST CONTRIBUTOR TO PRODUCTIVITY INEFFICIENCY IS DISTRACTION.

Stop thinking you’re so important that you have to do everything, and start deleting yourself out of the equation.

3. ACTIVITY TO IMPACT Many business owners focus on activity rather than impact. Alan Weiss in his International bestselling book “Million Dollar Consulting” talks about true wealth being discretionary time. In fact a common limiting belief for business owners is that they feel guilty for not working a minimum 9 to 5 work day or a 5 day week. You need to stop being a hired hand and start being an impact maverick. Even if you are an employee, thinking about impact as opposed to activity will set you up to have higher levels of discretionary time. When I run productivity workshops one of the first issues I address is the misconception

that people think productivity is about time. The problem with this idea is that you’ll never have more of it, so it cannot ever be about time, it has to be about priority. You’ll probably never come in to work and find yourself sitting with your legs up on the desk thinking “I have nothing on”. The truth is that anyone in a competitive business environment will always have too much on for the time they have. This being true, one would realise that it’s about sifting through the stuff we have on to uncover the highest impact priority. Empowerment comes when you take control of your controllables. In other words, it’s never about time it’s always about priority.

Part of the process of shifting from activity to impact is clarifying your highest impact activity. High impact activities usually don’t scream at you. They won’t call you or email. They sit quietly underneath the surface. The types of activity that fit in this context could be strategic planning, partnerships, leveraged business models, marketing calendars and any activity with high potency. Making these three shifts will give you higher levels of emotional energy, more discretionary time and true sense of progress. So, click download and install this productivity upgrade in your business and life right now.

Moving from thinking “I need to fill eight hours in my day with activity,” to asking “if I only had one hour to work today what would be the activity that would make the most impact in this time?” If you learn the skill of impact over activity you’ll find yourself producing more in one day than most do in three. The distinction here is that it’s not about activity but impact.

Colin is an international speaker, trainer and coach who is obsessed with helping people become more engaged and productive in their work. His clients include Hewlett Packard, Suncorp Insurance, Allianz and Coca Cola Amatil to name a few. He lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife Sarah, son (Jonah) and baby (Georgia) Contact Colin here GLOSS NOV 2015 | 47


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oo many people are not happy at all - moving through life at a hundred miles an hour, functioning like conditioned robots. And yet, we spend a full third of our whole lives, 100,000 waking hours, at work - that’s time away from family, children and friends. How miserable to think that we spend that much time being unhappy, not connected to ourselves and what genuinely makes us happy. Its time to disrupt organisations, their status quo and bring “Happy” back to the conscious mind and behaviour in workplaces, in individuals and in communities. • The majority of us spend 100,000 hours at work during our lifetime, taking up one third of our waking time

• Yet only 20% of us are satisfied with our jobs (according to Deloitte’s survey) Most of us can provide a generic answer to the question of what affects our productivity and our mood at work. Yet only 50% of executives understand how to address this ‘happiness’ issue.


Come with me on a journey back to your childhood where laughter and fun were the simple things in life… You are sitting on the front lawn and you have been given a Yoyo. Do you remember the fun you had when you mastered the “Throw Down” and then you built on that trick to the “The Sleeper?” Once you got the essential, you moved onto getting a leg up on the old trick “walk the dog,” and let’s not forget that 360 spin “Around the world.” are you Smiling yet?

At Pure Insights we are all about bringing happy back in everything we do. We believe the game of life and business can sometimes feel as though you have rolled constant double ones and you are losing all your properties on the Monopoly board, or slithering down all the snakes. So what’s the answer, you need to roll a double six! So with this in mind, we focus on companies and bringing happy back into their daily life, culture and functioning.

Shawn Anchor, author of The Happiness Advantage highlights research over the past decade that proves happiness raises nearly every business and educational outcome: increasing sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, and accuracy on tasks by 19%.

ACCORDING TO JOINT RESEARCH FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL AND IOPENER INSTITUTE; • Happier workers help their colleagues 33% more often than unhappy ones

• Happy employees achieve their goals 31% more often GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 49


• Happy employees are 36% more motivated in their work. So does organisational happiness start with individuals, leadership or is it something that just happens? Do organisations ignore the importance of a happy workforce? I recently read an article that said that ever since a group of scientists switched the lights on and off in the mid-1920s, we have been obsessed with increasing employee productivity. Google has their own Chief Happiness Officer, and organisations are engaging with consultants to boost the morale of their teams. But is it really working? That same article also suggested that happiness at work was a myth. But if it is a myth wouldn’t you rather spend the 1,000,000 waking hours at work happy?

When I think about what makes me happy to lead the Pure Insights team, I think about coming to work and feeling like I am part of something where I belong, where my differences are not judged or my opinions are not hindered. I have a strong sense and desire to come to work each day as I take great pride in my work, and I give the permission to the whole team to be creative, fostering autonomy and ownership.


Psychologist and author Martin Seligman posited that “authentic happiness” is a combination of engagement, meaning and positive emotions. He studied people from all over the world and discovered that when a person exercises certain traits or virtues—like duty, kindness and leadership—it promotes authentic happiness. There is a decade of research that proves that happiness raises nearly every business outcome including: sales, productivity and accuracy as well as the health of people and quality of life. So I strongly believe 50 | GLOSS NOV 2015

Happiness at work is not a myth it is a fact and leaders make an impact.


You don’t need to pamper employees and give them a free lunch, or Friday afternoon drinks, or even a nap. Meaningful work that engages employees and connects them to the company’s purpose will outlast those Friday get together and games of pool in the lunchroom. Employees want to feel proud of who they work for and they want to be treated fairly. They want the boss to respect who they are and they want to be heard. Employees don’t expect their boss to always take their advice, but if they feel that they are not being heard, then they will often assume that the boss doesn’t care about them.

We have to “Push the boundaries to bring happy back.” It’s time to expose the myth that happiness and leadership don’t matter in the workplace because there is significant brain science and organisational research that suggest otherwise. Happiness is important if you want to fully engage, your WHY needs to have meaning and it needs to engage those around you when you lead. It’s on leaders to create an environment where people can thrive. It is as simple and as practical as: if you want an engaged workforce, pay attention to how you create a vision, link people’s work to your company’s larger purpose and reward people who resonate with others.

Leaders need to create an environment that allows employees to have a personal life. Often the lack of balance occurs in entrepreneurial companies, where work is a way of life. Employees want to feel that they still have a life and that they have a connection to life outside of work.

One of the many issues is the lack of security for those left behind after significant changes in an organisation. In today’s working environments, there is no such thing as a job for life. When change occurs, those left behind need to feel they are safe and secure. It is staggering just how simple this can be yet, it falls to the bottom of the to do list.

Anastasia is the CEO of Pure Insights: A Corporate Counselling, Mediating and Training company. She is also a sought-after keynote speaker on the topics of “Bringing Happy Back to the Workplace”, “Is Your Company Depressed?” and “Emotional Intelligence - Your Key to Success”. Contact Anastasia here GLOSS NOV 2015 | 51



Zahrina Robertson

SHOW THE WORLD YOUR PASSION AND DRIVE. BE MAGNETIC. BE YOU. DON’T LET YOUR BRANDING IMAGES TELL THE WRONG STORY. A magnetic branding photo is an essential part of managing Brand You – first impressions count and your photo could be the first thing your prospective clients or employers see – so make it work for you not against you. I was introduced to a super smart business executive at a function at the top of Madison Square Garden, New York where I was speaking on magnetic 52 | GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016

personal branding. This particular sophisticated lady ran a successful mentoring group for young women. When I checked out her online business website and presence, I found her personality archetype didn’t match her branding images, location styling and essence. Her personal branding wasn’t as polished as the woman who stood before me less than 1 metre away. I was flawed. What I experienced, is what I experience daily in my business - the massive gap in having met her at our one and one and feeling her personal confidence to seeing her personal magnetism and credibility online...this equals a missed opportunity to important potential clients. In essence a magnetic branding photo is meant

to show YOU and who YOU are and what YOU represent - clearly. It shows your passion, drive and sparkle. It is meant to capture your tenacity and pride in you and your personal branding. This could possibly be the only time when it’s all about you so don’t waste it on fear and negativity. You deserve this. You own this and you deserve to be magnetic. Make sure to stand tall and stand proud – confidence, convictions and personal presence is essential.

IT’S TIME TO: Get S.A.S.S.Y – Speak up, Ask, Sing your praises, Stand up Branding images evoke fond memories, special times and your hard work and the tenacity in getting where you are today. A photo doesn’t just say a thousand words - it is meant to say everything and astute business people know this. Always make sure the energy around you is positive and buzzing when having your branding photo taken. Trust me if you don’t feel your passion and your photographer is not eliciting these thoughts from you it will show through in your eyes.

and this will come through in the photo. ◊ Think happy thoughts when having your shots done so the world can see that positivity and drive. ◊ Choose your clothing carefully. This is about your inner you, not so much the outer you. Your clothing should represent you, not overpower you. ◊ Find a photographer that you connect with. Don’t waste your valuable time in thinking that it will come later. Strike up a bond and trust in your photographer. If it’s the right one your branding photo will be amazing and showcase you perfectly. Magnetic Branding is all about the law of attraction. Do it right, it’s the key investment in your branding kit of powerful striking images that will be key to your success tomorrow!

Brand content builds positioning and magnetic images of you will reinforce the strength of your message


◊ Magnetic branding images are taken to promote you and your brand and are used on all types of social media to give people an insight into your personality so don’t be shy and reserved. ◊ Take the time to build up a rapport with the person capturing your photo. If you don’t connect you will feel uncomfortable

Multi-award winning business woman and maverick, Zahrina Robertson is a leading, world-class expert in personal branding + photography, helping entrepreneurs become sizzling standouts online and generate qualified clients 24/7.

Teamed with her marketing expertise in understanding national and international brands, she has successfully identified the power of personal branding and travels globally, sharing her insights to help people achieve impact, success and profit for their own personal brand. Zahrina was accoladed the prestigious international award - Maverick of the Year - in the 2015 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards. She is a renowned international keynote speaker, acclaimed photographer, philanthropist, respected industry author, a children’s book author, as well as mother and partner.

Contact Zahrina here GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 53

Create your ownfinancial fairytale

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noun a current medium of exchange in the form of coins and banknotes; coins and banknotes collectively.



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hate exercising. I love how I feel after exercising but I hate the monotony of having to exercise regularly. I also hate the routine of having to exercise regularly. Unfortunately, it’s not something you can just cram in for a day once a month and then not have to worry about. Instead, a few times a week I have to try and motivate myself to go and work out. Now my confession with this exercising whinge is that 20 metres from my back door is a fully equipped gym. My husband is a physiotherapist and used to work with a football club so we have a fully functioning gym in our backyard. So it’s not as if I have to get into a car, drive to a gym and workout. All I have to do is grab the keys and walk up the backyard. Yet I still struggle with it. My only motivation for working out is my wardrobe. I love clothes, I’ve spent a small fortune over the years on my wardrobe and so I’m determined to be able to wear all of my clothes for a very long time to come. Which unfortunately means I need to embrace exercise – or restrict my calories and I like chocolate way too much for that. I also know the benefits about exercise making you feel better, blah blah blah. For me, at this stage in my life, it really has come down to an exercise of economics. Exercising means I can extend the life of my wardrobe for as long as I remain the size that I am. I know others exercise for more appropriate reasons like feeling better, improving their health and having more energy. I’m happy for all of these added benefits but it is the lure of the wardrobe that ultimately motivates me. What I do know is that exercising is a vital part of my routine. Yes I’d love to skip it but I can’t. The same is true in business. There are parts of business I know many people find

monotonous and boring and would love to gloss over or skip completely. And some of you do just that. But unfortunately if you want your business to look good and perform well then you really have no choice but to suck it up and do it. A bit like my choice to exercise. What parts of business am I talking about? Generally I find it’s the numbers side of the business – those key areas that will influence your profit and your bank balance. This is the side of business that so many of my clients initially try to tell me is too hard, beyond their abilities or not an area they will ever understand.

CRITICAL NUMBERS ARE A GREAT PLACE TO START Well let me tell you a secret. It’s not that hard. Sure, it might not be your forte and you might never love it, but if you want to run a successful, profitable business you can’t afford to ignore the numbers. I might run on my treadmill a few times a week but I certainly am never intending to run a marathon. The same is true for your business. You don’t need to become an accountant. You simply need to understand the numbers as they relate to your business. So what numbers do you need to know about? I think you need to at least understand and monitor your critical numbers. Critical numbers (or key performance indicators) are fancy names for a very simple concept. I like the term ‘critical number’ because I think it describes exactly what it is: the critical number/s that need to be met in order to achieve your business goals. The critical number/s generally represent the biggest issue you have in your business at the GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 57

The critical numbers can be like your exercise goals. My critical number for exercising is to exercise for up to 30 minutes four times per $150,000 in sales this quarter (revenue week. For someone else their critical number is often the simplest critical number to for exercising might be to run for eight track) kilometres four times per week or to lose 1.25 Gross profit of $75,000 (gross profit is kilos per week. The most important thing simply the sales less your direct costs) is to work out the numbers that are most Wages to be no more than the greater important to you. It’s the same in business. of $50,000 or 1/3rd of sales Choose the critical numbers that relate to Stock on hand of no more than $25,000 where your business is at and what goals you want to achieve. Because if you don’t believe Two patients to be seen by every them and they don’t motivate you then it physician per hour simply won’t work. Under 10 days to deliver a service

moment. Some examples might be:

500,000 units of products sold this quarter

150 new customers this quarter

Production time of two minutes per unit

Three prospect or new client catch-ups per week

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Now working out your numbers is great but what next? You need to track them regularly. Unless you’re looking at them regularly then they’re just a set of useless numbers. In my business I track my critical numbers daily. That’s because for the last five years we’ve been growing quickly to the point where we now have a substantial team and costs so it’s

essential that we stay on track. At the very least you should track your critical numbers weekly. Kind of like a weekly weigh-in if you’re trying to lose weight to make sure you’re on track and to tweak what you’re doing if you’re going off course. Sure there are lots of other numbers you should be looking at. Numbers relating to pricing, cashflow, capacity, costs, efficiencies… but you need to start somewhere. And critical numbers can be a great place to start.

business. Sure, you may never become an accountant but I guarantee you’ll become a much better and more successful business owner. Which should mean less stress and more money in the bank account for you.


So many things in life are simply a mind-set. If I decide that I’m too busy to exercise at the moment then guess what? I’ll always be right. Doesn’t help me fit in my clothes though. If you decide you will never be a great numbersperson then you’ll probably be right too. Doesn’t help your business though. Imagine instead if you try and understand the numbers. At least as they refer to your

Melissa Browne is CEO of A+TA (Accounting & Taxation Advantage), Director of Business at Thinkers.inq and author of More Money for Shoes and Fabulous but Broke. Find out more here

GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 59

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noun the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproductions, functional



activity and continual change preceding death.

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Carolyn Dean

Where were you born and where did you spend your childhood? Born in the UK (from a northern industrial city of pottery workers, miner strikes and steel workers with unemployment). A wonderful place to leave... My hubby and I have been in Australia since 1999 and loving it! Where did your professional dream begin? From an early age I have always wanted to work, always wanted to earn. Always wanted to be the best that I was able to be.

I have written a book on dental marketing “Fully Booked - Dental marketing secrets for a full appointment book” which will be launched in March 2016. Plus, this year I also started training at the Australian Dental Association’ s Professional Development Centre, which is the ultimate “gold seal of approval” as they only have two non-clinical trainers on their books.

People may think that I am somewhat mad to have such a specific niche. But I honestly love talking to dentists every day and being able to help them with their marketing and I come from a long line of opinionated working women! Even my grandmother, who strategy. Ultimately helping them to grow was a volunteer, was the chairwoman for the their practices and attract and keep great patients. WI (women’ s institute) for her county. So I would guess that it is in my blood to do well, Who wouldn’t want to have a client base of work hard and be the best that I can. ethical, smart and professional clients who Tell us more about what you do? I have somehow (by a very strange path of career moves) become a specialist in the dental marketing space. My businesses “My Dental Marketing” and “Wellsites” provide a full range of marketing solutions to dental and medical specialists. 62 | GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016

know that they need help and value your services?!

What have you learnt about yourself during your career? I have learnt that the largest lessons come through failure and that if you stay safe then nothing exciting is going to happen! The older I get, the less I care what people

think and the less fear I feel of failing. This is a wonderful feeling and I daren’ t imagine what I will be like at the age of 80! What 3 key gems of advice would you share? 1. Niche, niche, niche! 2. People are always very scared to narrow their target market. This is the biggest mistake that I know. If I had started out delivering general websites and marketing to every business (from plumbers to florists) would I now be in negotiations with a number of huge corporates and Fortune 500 businesses? 3. By finding a niche and owning it I have been able to build a solid network of key

people in my industry What are some of the mistakes you made and learnings from them? I have made many mistakes along the way, mistakes with pricing, staff, bad partnerships, trusting people ... the list goes on and on. But what I have learnt is that mistakes are fine as long as you learn from them. We have a saying in the business, which is “if there is a problem make it ‘ write’” - this means that if we make a mistake we need to learn from it and make sure that it doesn’ t happen again. To write a procedure, change a policy; clarify the point next time etc. In other words, make sure that we have ‘ written’ something and communicated this to ensure that we don’ t make the mistake again. GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 63

What keeps you going? What keeps me going is my belief that my business is something that people actually need, that it solves a problem that they have. Throughout the day-to-day stress of cash flow, staff issues and tricky clients I honestly believe in my business. I have also built my business around my life and my priorities. To have the life that I want then my business has to succeed .... I never want to have a 9 to 5 corporate job again and want to be able to be there for my children, to help them with their homework and to be able to go to the school activities when I want without being answerable to anybody but myself. What’s next in the journey of BRAND YOU? My book launch is my next big step planned for March 2016. I have had some amazing endorsements from key people in my industry so far so I am excited about where this will take me (and the business). Your favourite things: - Destination: Wow... an impossible question... I love travelling - Drink: Pimms and lemonade- the good old British favourite! - App: Buffer - social media posting for the lazy person! If you were a hashtag what would it be?


Carolyn S Dean is Managing Director at My Dental Marketing and Wellsites, She is a widely known dental marketing speaker trainer and consultant who works extensively with dental professionals. She is the author of ‘ Fully Booked – Dental marketing secrets for a full appointment book’ (to be published in March 2016). Contact Carolyn here

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THE secret of being is accepting where you are in life and making the most out of everyday

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he end of another year is fast approaching. One naturally starts reflecting on the year that’s been … what went well, what goals were accomplished - what ‘coulda, shoulda, woulda’? Once those thoughts have been digested (and often washed down with some festive refreshments!), one starts to shift focus onto what will be. We ask ourselves questions like ‘What does the next year look like?’ ‘What do I want to achieve?’ and ‘How am I going to juggle all that?’ There is a sense of obligation to set big goals at this time of year. For some people, that’s an engaging, exciting and inspiring prospect. For others, the goal setting process can be scary, a bit intimidating or even boring and disengaging! Now don’t get me wrong, I am a huge advocate of the fact that you need to know where you are going if you stand any chance of getting there. We don’t pack the

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Linda Murray

car and set off on a road trip to … nowhere. We decide on a destination we’d like to visit, work out how we’ll get there and then pack the car and set off. For some reason, when it comes to business and our careers, too many people seem comfortable just to waft in cruise control, hoping that the right opportunities will come along and the right destination will just reveal itself when you miraculously arrive there. Sound familiar? I’d like to challenge you to approach 2016 a different way. It’s easy to get too focused on setting goals, yet miss the most important questions you should be asking yourself: • What is my intent or focus for 2016? • If I were to give 2016 a theme, what would it be? • Why is that important to me? • How would that make me feel? These questions help us get clear on the ‘why’ or your intent for the year ahead. They

She recognised that she needed to build ‘Brand Susan’ and to be perceived as a confident and outstanding Partner for the firm. Susan needed to build her executive presence. As soon as we said the term “executive presence”, Susan’s face lit up. “Presence!” she shrieked. “That’s what all Once your intent for the year is clear, three these goals are all about!” Susan had just wonderful things happen: 1. Goal setting becomes sharp and aligned found her intent word for 2015. It was a word that gave the following year context, focus 2. Decision making is easy and value. Every meeting Susan stepped 3. You start to achieve your goals faster into, she focused on building her ‘presence’. and set up your year for success Every opportunity that came her way, she asked herself “Is this opportunity going to HOW YOUR INTENT WORD build my presence?” If the answer was “no”, it WORKS Let me give you an example. In late 2014, my was an easy decision for Susan to make and communicate. Previously, she had felt obliged client, Susan had big plans for 2015. Armed to jump at every opportunity ‘just in case’ it with a long list of goals to achieve over the led somewhere. Using her 2015 intent word, following 12 months, I asked her “What is every decision Susan made stepped her closer your intent for 2015?” She couldn’t answer. to where she wanted to be. By May 2015 (five So I asked her “Why are all these goals months ahead of target), Susan became a important?” She looked at me blankly. Partner. also provide the life force that ignites the motivation within us to achieve and succeed. When we launch into a year without a clear intent, it is easy to get distracted, get busy and to lose sight of the bigger picture.

Susan and I talked through her list of goals to ascertain why these were important and what she was really striving to achieve. Susan was determined to be promoted to Partner in 2015. She was technically strong in her role. She was known for being very academically smart, but was quite timid and so often shied away from contributing verbally. The result – her peers were all promoted to the Partner positions that Susan deserved. Recognising this, Susan’s goals were relevant (public speaking courses and speaking up in meetings). What was missing was that one intent word that she could have in mind all day, everyday, to drive the outcomes she wanted; one word that gave all her goals, decisions and behaviours meaning.

If your goals are the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of what you want to achieve, then your intent word is the ‘why’, the big picture, the life force that drives you.

CREATE YOUR INTENT WORD FOR 2016 BHP Billiton’s CEO, Andrew Mackenzie, says it perfectly “Our people start each day with a sense of purpose and end it with a sense of accomplishment.” Having one intent word for 2016 means you can start your year with a sense of purpose and end it with a sense of accomplishment.

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Would you like help to do that to set your year up for success? If you’re committed to the idea that 2016 is the year you WILL achieve success, join the FREE Athena Coaching 28-day challenge! In this challenge you will: 1. Create a sense of clear direction and what 2016 is really about for you 2. Shift your focus to why is that important to you 3. Identify what you want to achieve 4. Gain clarity of what your one word is that you can focus on 5. Create goals to your aspirations so that you can ensure you accomplish them The challenge is easy. Each week for four weeks, I’ll provide you with resources and activities to support you in your mission to set 2016 up for success. This will be an online process that you can do from anywhere! I guarantee by the time you say “I can’t believe its Easter already”, you will already have a sense of accomplishment. Join the FREE Athena Challenge by clicking the button below and make 2016 the year that you achieve everything you want!

Linda Murray is a successful businesswoman, coach, strategist and mentor, speaker and trainer. Linda’s talent is teaching women to increase their commercial success while using their authentic feminine approach. She mixes her personal experience in business, her strong academic background and her observations of hundreds of businesses to show businesswomen and female executives how to enjoy greater commercial outcomes and accelerated individual success. Contact Linda here

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Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax

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Alison Flemming 70 | GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016

Where were you born and where did you spend your childhood?

I was born in Newcastle at the Mater Hospital. All babies born there where gifted a singlet “Born Smarter at the Mater”. I’ll let you be the judge! I grew up in Coal Point on Lake Macquarie, near Newcastle. It was (and still is) a really beautiful part of the world. At the time that was our normal, so we thought everyone grew up doing water sports and swimming every day. Looking back we were very lucky. Where did your professional dream begin?

In the beginning, work for me was a means to live. Due to circumstances at the time I was unable to finish high school, so at 16yrs old I was working casually at both Coles and a Fruit Shop to pay my rent. That fell well short of the expectations my family had for me, so when I found myself at my Grandfathers birthday being pressured to answer questions about “what was I going to do next”. I blurted out “Child Care”. If you don’t know me, you can’t realise how funny that is… but I’m very stubborn so I did actually go and study child care and work in that field for 12 months before investing more time into thinking longer term about what I’d really like to do. I ended up studying Accounting & Finance, which lead me into some Commercial Finance roles and into the General Management role I’m in today

Working with the fund managers taught me there needed to be a better way to visualise their communications and I knew nobody was taking the time to do it right. Tell us more about what you do?

I manage a portfolio of Westfield Shopping centres. I’m privileged to lead and work alongside an amazing team; I have 12 direct reports and 160 staff all together. We work together to manage the daily operations (marketing, facilities, security etc.) and set the long term strategy that will deliver growth in the asset valuation (through leasing and redevelopments). I love the variety of this role and my day can (and does) vary from meeting a customer about a car parking complaint to seeking board approval for a multi-million dollar project. I’m really passionate about delivering superior business results, but the way I do that is more important to me. Developing people and having my whole team engaged and loving their jobs is (rightly or wrongly) more important to me than the outcome we deliver. We are just ‘lucky’ and deliver great results all of the time. What have you learnt about yourself during your career?

The biggest learning is that you never stop learning about yourself. I took myself very seriously and pushed myself very hard in the early part of my career. I think that started initially from being very paranoid about what people would think about me GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 71

not finishing school – if only I knew then that now no one ever asks or cares! I’ve learnt that I’m smarter, tougher and way more capable than I would have ever imagined. Life has a funny way of working out, and I think doing things the hard way can often be more fun, rewarding and teach you more than having things just land in your lap.

MUCH small stuff these days that a better is to help people cope with ALL stuff… that’s what meditation has done for me What are some of the mistakes you made and learnings from them?

I’m glad the question said some, because if you asked for all we might have been here for a while. I’ll go with my TOP 3. What 3 key gems of advice would you 1. Forgetting to build a network. Life skills share? 101 - you can’t do everything on your 1. The harder you work, the luckier you get! own! It’s too easy to get ‘busy being I think women, in particular, are very busy’ and forget to build and maintain quick to think they are lucky if they get your professional network. I was in a certain job. If they took more time a really compromised position a few to reflect on how hard they’ve worked years ago and when I went to turn to they would probably realise it was very my network for help, there wasn’t one! well deserved. I’ll never put myself in that position 2. If you don’t create the life you want, you’ll again. get the life you’re given! You can have 2. Not valuing my worth. I kept thinking the best friends, boss, partner etc in that the ‘next job’ would be my big the world… but they still don’t care as pay rise instead of insisting I was paid much about you and your dreams as at least market value for the role I you do (and that’s ok!). You have chase was already doing. Men ask for more your own dreams and make your own money all the time, women should feel life happen. comfortable to do the same. 3. Stay Clam…and Meditate! People are so 3. Being Perfect vs Looking Forward While quick to tell you not to sweat the small I still believe high performance is stuff, but the reality is there is just SO essential for recognition and career

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progression, perfectionism is the quickest way to stall a great career if you can’t find a balance between doing a good job in your current position and continuing the professional development you need to get you where you want to be long term. I’ve got a better balance now, but I spent way too long being the best at my level before realising the value of having and genuinely using a career plan. What keeps you going?

My next holiday! I really love to travel and am always motivated to work hard and pay for the next trip. Currently deciding between African Safari or a South American adventure for the next holiday. What’s next in the journey of BRAND YOU?

Something scary – I’ve spent forever doing things I thought I would be good at. The next step for me is to master something that I have no idea about, and that scares me… just a little and in a good way. Your favourite things: - Destination: New York

- Drink: Champagne - App: Instagram & Germin Connect

If you were a hashtag what would it be?


Alison Flemming is the Regional Manager for Scentre Group . Originally a chartered accountant, she now has 20 years’ management experience in large corporate organisations. Her background in finance, a passion for team collaboration and open and honest work environments has helped to drive the success of the assets and teams within her portfolio. She manages over $5b in assets, $2.5b in retail sales and was a 2015 finalist in the NSW Telstra Business Women’s Awards. Contact Alison here GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 73


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– n eu rs e r p e r n e nt e wo m e g r in fo c inspir ut in o s Tru ly D LB

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Carol – owners thei r per it infl uenc

Ja n in e G a r n er a n d fello private w LBDs VIP mor atten d a n in g tea with Layn e B J u li a Gil la eachley rd , a n d Holl y Ra nso m

– showing busin ess how to understa nd rsonal va lues & how ces the way they do busin esss

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arty season is starting to ramp up, and if you’ve left your preparations till the last minute, never fear! Suzie Hoitink, Registered Nurse and Founder of the Clear Complexions Clinics has some great last minute treatment options to make sure we’re looking our best. It’s that time of year when our social calendars overflow – and we want to be looking our absolute best. In a perfect world, I’d love my clients to come and see me at least six weeks beforehand to start prepping. But I know how life gets in the way. Before we know it, we’re faced with a big event only a few days off, and tired skin that is showing signs of stress, overwork and under-sleep. If you’re the ‘go big or go home’ type of person, this is not the time to do anything 78 | GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016

drastic. The last thing you want to do is wind up at your office party looking like you’ve got serious sunburn! Luckily there are some fantastic last-minute treatments that will help your skin appear radiant and healthy, without having to go into social hibernation for a few days. Here’s my countdown list for the summer party season:


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This is not the time to be booking in for heavy peels that can cause redness, irritation or last minute break-outs. Instead look for superficial procedure peels based on organic compounds such as lactic, salicylic, pyruvic and ascorbic acids. These agents work with your skin’s natural physiology to improve skin health and can be customised to work with your skin’s specific requirements.

The treatment takes approximately 1520 minutes with little to no shedding of skin, and you can return to normal activities afterwards. Mineral make-up can be applied directly after the treatment, although it’s usually recommended to wait for a few hours.


This non-invasive laser treatment uses highpower microsecond pulses at high repetition rates to gently heat the mid dermis, stimulating collagen and hyaluronic acid. It’s expected that directly after treatment the area will feel warm and you may appear pink. In most cases there is absolutely no downtime at all. A course of three to five treatments is usually recommended to increase collagen stimulation and production, but a one-off treatment can leave your skin appearing instantly softer and hydrated.


OMNILUX MEDICAL ™ Omnilux Medical™ light therapy works with your body’s own natural processes to counteract the effects of ageing. A 20-minute Infrared or Red light treatment will leave your skin feeling and looking firmer and plumper. There is no need for recovery time, and makeup can be re-applied immediately after treatment.


Microdermabrasion uses crystals to gently remove the outer layer of dead skin cells that clog up your pores and give your skin a GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 79

dull appearance. Combined with a sucking action, microdermabrasion can improve your skin’s texture and circulation and help reduce breakouts. When combined with a Vitamin C, B3 or Hyaluronic Acid mask, the result is a hydrated, smoother feel to your skin. There is absolutely no downtime with this treatment and you can go back to your normal routine immediately. Special offer for Gloss readers. To celebrate their 10th birthday, and the opening of their newest clinic in Macquarie Shopping Centre, Clear

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Suzie Hoitink is a registered nurse and founder of The Clear Complexions Clinics.Suzie is a recipient of the ACT Telstra Business Women’s Award and an in-demand authority on skin care. Suzie specialises in light based therapies and what constitutes ‘best practice’ in the rapidly evolving industry of skin rejuvenation.Despite having six state of the art clinics in Canberra and Sydney, Suzie continues to personally treat clients and educate and mentor her nurses Contact Suzie here 80 | GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016

Ask yourself if what you are doing TODAY is getting you closer to where you want to be TOMORROW GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 81


Now that the excitement of Michelle Payne’s historic win at Flemington has died down, perhaps we can all get back to doing what we can to work at our very best too.

world, juggling life, work and family, who doesn’t want (need) that little bit of extra energy?

Watching all those unbearably smug, Michelle grabbed our hearts and minds with smiling, unreal people on TV espousing how taking vitamin X pill really works to her off-the-cuff comments about how hard provide us the vim and vigor we seek, it can it is operating in a man’s world. If Richard Branson had said, “Stuff it, let’s do it!” would be tempting to give it a try, even if we do run we have paid the same attention to his words? the risk of losing our friends who can’t abide smugness either. But what set Michelle apart wasn’t just her fabulous Melbourne Cup win but her Of course it doesn’t work like that. While there will always be those who will swear on disarming self belief and enthusiasm for her their grandmother’s grave that everything role as a female jockey. She has “vitality.” good that has happened to them was as a consequence of taking product Y, the real VITALITY IS ENERGY Vitality is that elusive energy that provides us reason they look and feel so much better the means to achieve more. It’s linked to our comes from the story they’re not telling you. state of mind, the how we feel. The back story is in their decision to change Vitamin manufacturers recognise this unmet their approach to what they choose to eat, how much exercise they do, how much sleep need. After all, living in this crazy busy 82 | GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016

they get and how they interact with the world and others. In other words it’s about choosing to live a brain friendly lifestyle - far less sexy but it works. The key is to not be satisfied with the status quo and to seek ways to improve, extend and explore who we are and what we do. Choosing to be healthy is a great way to start topping up your energy bucket.

VITALITY COMES FROM INSPIRATION INSPIRATION GALVANISES US INTO ACTION. Michelle spoke about her love for horses and the track and how she had always aspired to win the Melbourne Cup from a very early age. That gave her the tenacity, resilience and energy to keep pushing towards her goal. Beyond the sporting arena there are plenty of women doing it for the vitality sisterhood in many other areas too. Gail Kelly is best remembered as the former CEO of Westpac, the position she attained in 2008. An outstanding leader, she attributed her success to a number of home baked skillsets; choosing to be positive, doing what you love, being bold and ensuring the right people get on the bus while getting the wrong people off. Generous and wholehearted she shared a vision for mutual respect and service for those within the organisation, their customers and the community and she was energising.

Prof Fiona Woods, burns specialist in Perth inspires others through her vision for scarless healing, a holistic approach to burns that motivates those working in her Foundation to dig deep to find better solutions for pain management and healing. Mother to six kids (!) she appears to have boundless energy, something she attributes to her passion for her work and her love for her very close-knit family. In 2014 Maryam Mirzakhani achieved something remarkable that sadly didn’t gather the attention it deserved. She is the Maths Professor at Stanford, who was the first woman to win the Fields Mathematics Prize since the award was first established nearly 80 years ago. While maths might not be as exciting to the rest of us, Maryam fell in love with a beautiful solution after hearing her brother telling her the story of the mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, who solved the mathematical problem of adding all the numbers from 1 to 100 in seconds. His answer dazzled her and sparked her love affair with numbers.

VITALITY KNOWS TO TAKE A BREAK Even those with an apparent never-ending porridge pot of energy know that they too, need to stop and replenish their energy stores on a regular basis. Our energy levels pulsate like our heart beat, constantly ebbing and waning. We have a daily natural energy cycle, the Ultradian rhythm, and it’s the perfect way to help us to produce our best work using an energy peak, and then to recuperate and GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 83


restore our energy tanks during a well earned break. Each of us has our own rhythm with peaks and troughs occurring every 60 to 90 minutes. So why not take those 15 to 20 minutes in between to just be, to let go, to press the pause (or even the rewind) button to reflect and restore. Beyond that, taking time out to spend time with those who mean the most to us, exploring the world and everything it has to offer at a community, cultural and societal level broadens our perspective, piques our curiosity and rekindles that sense of joy and wonderment. Studies of those who live the longest on our planet show they all share one thing in common. It’s not the food they eat, nor the exercise they do, it’s the zest and vitality they bring to each day that dawns, looking forward with excitement to what new adventure may lie ahead.


Dr Jenny Brockis is the Brain Fitness Doctor. Her new book Future Brain: The 12 KeysTo Create Your High Performance Brain (Wiley) is available online and at all good bookstores. Contact Jenny here

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RUN YOUR OWN RACE In Business and Life Jen Brown

You’re a risk taker and disrupter. You’ve taken the mould used by others in your industry, thrown it to the ground, watched it smash into a thousand tiny pieces and said “I’m going to make my own rules. Watch me”. You’ve proceeded to change attitudes, smash assumptions and re-define what’s possible in the process. But have you ever stopped to wonder why it’s so hard to achieve your health and fitness goals? The biggest reason why so many people struggle in this part of their life is because they try to squeeze into someone else’s program (or mould); the opposite approach to that which brought you success in business. 86 | GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016

Here are some tips to help you find your own (successful) route towards your health and fitness goals:

Create your own path

#Runyourownrace and #runyourownlife aren’t just taglines I made up for my business over a few too many reds. I use them because the most successful people - in business, sport and life - are those who found what works for them. There is no doubt Richard Branson and Oprah “run their own race”. We are unique; we have different lifestyles, backgrounds, commitments, personalities, schedules and preferences. So your approach to health and fitness needs to reflect, and

encapsulate, those differences. If you and I were given the same 5 ingredients from the pantry and told to cook a meal, we’d probably make 2 different meals (assuming I didn’t instead call for pizza). Those meals would be a reflection of who we are: the way we’ve been raised, what we’re used to eating, our culture and background. It’s unrealistic to expect that we’d cook the same meal - so why do you expect that someone else’s recipe will help you achieve your fitness goals?

and fitness goals? About your ability to lose weight? Or your ability to squeeze time for exercise into your busy day?

Be true to you

You’ve tried green smoothies and kale and meditation because you think you should. But…

…If you hate green smoothies, don’t drink them. …If you hate kale, don’t eat it.

…If you get bored after 30 seconds of meditation (like me!), create ‘space’ in your What stories do you tell yourself? life in other ways. Whether that’s reading, I’ve met über confident and successful colouring in, watching the sunrise or trail businesswomen who are afraid of being running. You’ll never catch me sitting still judged by what they look like when concentrating on my breathing. But stick me exercising. Likewise I’ve met women who on a trail, let me run free and I guarantee rock their gym gear like they were dressed for you I’ll return a happier, calmer and morethe Oscars and yet are crippled by insecurity centred person with a recharged set of at work. The stories we tell ourselves about batteries and a clear head. what we are - or are not - capable of become our limits because we Sure, green smoothies and kale and (a) rarely question whether they are accurate and

(b) assume they are! Women often say to me “I can’t run”. When I dig a little deeper, they confess it’s because they aren’t very good at it. Well, if you haven’t been running regularly over the last 3 months, you probably aren’t! But if you assume (like we often do) that you’ll never be a good runner, you limit your potential for improvement. And it’s not just about running - what other stories do you tell yourself about your health

meditation are good. But are they good for YOU? Do you enjoy them? Do you think you benefit from it? If not, give yourself permission to stop doing what you think you should and instead try something else that creates space for you.

Be honest with yourself

Business is one massive experiment - or more correctly millions of small ones. So how much do you experiment in your personal life? How often do you try new things? We’ve all had those whispers when a part of yourself you sometimes don’t recognise says “oh I’d love to try that”. I was obsessed with Mt Everest since I was a little girl (I GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 87


still am!). But my summer holidays at school were spent at home with my nose in a book; I was never an “outdoorsy” person until my early 30s. My Mum still wonders where this “outdoorsy” version of me came from. But she’s been there all along. I simply never listened to the whispers until my 30s when I stood in the presence of Mt Everest for the first time and discovered outdoors is where I belong.

Remember, you’ve broken the mould in business. My challenge to you is to do the same for your health and fitness goals so you can #runyourownrace and ultimately #runyourownlife.

What have you always wanted to do or try but never have? Do that. You might surprise yourself by finding an unexpected and surprising path towards your fitness goals.

Don’t set yourself up for failure

We’ve all read articles in which early morning exercise is touted as one of the “secrets of the world’s most productive people”. And for some people, it works. But if it doesn’t suit your lifestyle or the flow of your family, trying to force yourself into that mould is simply going to result in missed training sessions, leaving you feeling guilty, frustrated and no closer to your goals. Don’t set yourself up for failure; design your own structure that works for you, your family and your life. The New Year is a perfect time to start implementing these tactics which will give you a solid foundation for a successful and satisfying 2016 where you finally break through and achieve the results you want.

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Jen Brown believes the biggest limitation in life are the stories we tell ourselves. She is a Running and Triathlon Coach and owns SpartaPT. Jen recently launched SpartaChicks, an online community to help women overcome self-doubt, build confidence and live life as the strong, resilient women they are. Contact Jen here

Believe you can and you’re already half way there. GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 89



End of year pressures creep in earlier and earlier. Christmas decorations were already showing up in September and financial reviews, family holiday planning and the leadership squeeze sets in.

just sit and stare at nothing. It’s your reboot time. Set expectations upfront and explain to your family that you’re doing things differently this year and making time to recover after a busy year, and feel refreshed before the new one. Make this a positive statement, not an excuse or a demand. Your friends and family will get a much better version of you when you actually have moments that are productive and allow you to relax in your own space.

Now more than ever we need to use a savvy approach to bringing both business and personal vitality to life. Let it be known there are no quick fixes, magic wands or short cuts. The fastest way for you to truly look, feel and perform at your personal best is to run your body like your business. • Make time to plan. If you don’t create the life you want you’ll get the one After all – healthy, wealthy and wise is the you’re given. Make your 90 days plans ideal trifecta. religiously! Keep reviewing and refining and make sure your goals are truly There is no age limit, it’s all in your mindset. relevant. Look at your week and months ahead with a new perspective of making I’m going to help you get your mojo back this work/life choices - not negotiating with Christmas and head into the New Year with yourself all the time on fitness, food a renewed sense of productivity, purpose and and financials. Grab a big sheet of A3 passion for all areas of life. paper and go crazy. What DO you want your year ahead to look like? What Fast track your mindset: does business and personal vitality mean • Shift into action rather than to you. How will you know when you procrastination achieve it? Look at that list across 6 key • Create tasks you do rather than lists you pillars: make • Health and Wellbeing • How to make time for fitness and • Admin/Productivity/Finance/Business wellbeing when you’re overwhelmed and pulled in so many different directions. • Friends


1. Re-write the script. Who said Christmas had to be long languid overfed days eating food that you pile on your plate “just because it’s the holidays”. Take a step back and start really focusing on food you enjoy and go for quality over quantity. 2. Lead by example. Complaining you have to fit in with everyone else’s plans over the holidays - start being clear about your ME time, take 15 minutes (1% a day) for you - workout, walk, read, be creative or

• Family

• ME Time

• Giving Back Once you’ve bullet pointed those boxes go through and be really specific. Is each goal relevant to where you are now? Stop carrying over old new years resolutions that no longer apply. Less points per pillar, more focus and purpose 3. Have Fun! You’re allowed to kick your shoes off, run in the sand, dive in the ocean, head to the mountains or just make GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 91


you feel sorry after you have eaten them. sure you’re catching up with friends you love and enjoy the company of. Put some • Get outside - fresh air, fresh food and a deposits into your Vitality BankⓇ and fresh perspective. make choices about fuelling your body well, hanging out with positive people and Start living the life you love this December be in the moment. and building a new landscape for what healthy, wealthy and wise feels like for you in On a final note if you struggle to avoid the year ahead. 3 helpings of dessert and the brandy this Christmas, here’s my cheat sheet where you Want an amazing Christmas gift and have can holiday like a pro. the most incredible game changing holiday season? Get 10% off and personalised copy Swap chardonnays and sav blanc’s for quality of Vitality The Book - just use the code champagne. Less sugars, less is more. VIP10 at checkout on www.vitaitythebook. Change out dark spirits and soft drinks for com a vodka or gin on the rocks with fresh lime and soda - everything in moderation. Connect with me on instagram, twitter and facebook over Christmas to stay focused this • Think fresh is best with food - gravitate holiday season! @nfogdenmoore towards meal time salads and fresh delicious berries, stay away from heavy foods that weigh you down and just make 92 | GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016

Nikki Fogden-Moore specialises in working with CEO’s, entrepreneurs and high achievers in creating the life they want. She divides
her time between private coaching, Corporate Vitality, Boardroom and bespoke retreats, workshops and presenting. You can visit her for more great advice here Contact Nikki here

GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 93




t seems that masterful speaking is essential to stand-out business leadership today. While the online world has opened up a plethora of at-yourdesk platforms to easily and quickly share your views, your breakthroughs, and your hardships, and put it out there like never before, the spoken word remains powerful.

While I did love being a debater back in high school, over the years of being a desk-bound worker I somehow lost my nerve in my adult years. These days, being a qualified media trainer helps me fuel the fires on a different playing field, and two years ago, when I became a published author, I knew speaking engagements were part of the process to market my self-published book and to US comedian Jerry Seinfeld told the create meaningful traction with readers. So, following famous joke: reluctantly, with less than four hours of sleep (newborn baby, reflux, self-limiting thoughts, ‘According to most studies, people’s number and nerves; say no more), I entered a major one fear is public speaking. Number two conference room packed with about 200 is death. Death is number two. Does that private nurses who were also small business sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off owners, stood alone behind the podium, and gave my first keynote talk. in the casket than doing the eulogy.’ Everything has snowballed from that one talk, and while my performance was less than All jokes aside, how many of us feel that perfectly polished, it was real. It was 100% way? I am guessing more do, than not. my message, and somehow it worked. I now It may seem implausible, but I still get get paid to speak to corporate and smaller butterflies in my stomach every time I walk business groups and community networks, into a training room, even after five years of being a professional media trainer and coach although I also still do plenty of non-profit gigs, as that remains important and has made and some 2000 individual clients later. my business more tangible and accessible to It’s in my DNA. I am a born introvert whose so many. preference for writing versus speaking my This book is a guide for you to be inspired mind was harnessed in my early newspaper journalism career in the 1990s. My university and motivated to share your real story; on a stage, through a webinar, in that job major was in fact TV journalism but after interview, or at a new business pitch. The less than a year at a local network, I quickly realised it was not my preferred media forum. world needs business heroes of all shapes and Most of my magic happens at my desk or on sizes. It is your time to become one. a portable device, where I can craft editable Here’s the why and the how. emails and proposals, tweak Tweets, and carefully curate images that reflect my story – both personally and professionally. However, I’m always up for a challenge and know that sharing ideas in person or via a digital visual format is important to growing my brand, my business, and attracting new followers. It is not always about speaking but more about being heard and fully understood. GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 95

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: how to speak like a professional Use expressive, colourful words that help you ‘cut through’ bland business language. This is my biggest tip to prevent alienating others. Whatever you do, skip the use of buzzwords and industry jargon. Then it is just about delivering your message crisply but with a human glow to it. In the past eight years, the bulk of my communications practice has focused on helping executives communicate more effectively and I have personally trained literally thousands of managers, PR teams, and thought leaders to be better presenters and speakers. I’ve worked with CEOs and the more junior professionals behind them, individually and in groups. I’ve videotaped, plotted out the speaker’s strongest talking points, managed body language, and provided all the best practices. It has been such a privilege and it makes me leap out of bed each day knowing I add real value to my clients. My early career experience as a TV and newspaper journalist, PR manager, in-house sponsorship rainmaker, and more has added to my ability to educate clients on the tools of the trade they need to master, sometimes just in a few hours with me, especially if it’s ahead of big announcement or even in the middle of a crisis campaign that is spiralling out of control one Tweet at a time. All that being true, nearly everyone can do with some improvement, and my own tweaks are still a work in progress – in fact, I am in the throes of receiving voice coaching sessions to improve my efficiency in how I 96 | GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016

use my speaking voice – which has suffered a few too many laryngitis episodes this year. I have learned to find small ways to get over my weaknesses. However, as I started to do more presenting in new topics, from the perspective of how to stay on track as a working mother, for example, or my journey as an accidental entrepreneur, I sought ways to overcome the gaps in my own style. I did a train-the-trainer course to learn how to better teach adults, design learning modules, and have even taken myself offline to retreats that showed me how to be more creative away from my desk. The latest educational upshot for me has been to get a speech therapist to help me protect my voice and use a less high-energy style. Its hard work and pretty dull, to be honest, but it’s paying off. The main point here is that nobody can know everything about everything. If you have some ‘bursting with excitement, must tell the world’ ideas, but are afraid of speaking to a large crowd, then work on improving that. Through courses, coaching, practice, and watching others, you can only get better. Find experts with whom you have a good rapport or genuinely can help you keep your authenticity at the end of the day. Why? The wrong ‘fit of trainer’ or training can do more harm than good. For those who’ve been through speaker training, you know the drill. You leave feeling less authentic than ever, with piles of ‘correct’ postures, gestures, and speech effects to practise. Being told ‘Don’t tilt your head! Stand up straight! Don’t pace too much! Walk more! Make eye contact with more people! Make eye contact with fewer people! Gesture bigger! Gesture smaller!’ is usually part of

general presenter training, but I’d be willing to bet that after you leave the training, most of us forget 90% of what we have learned within a month. I say this not just from my own experience of being in training (versus giving training) from my years working for PR agencies, but from talking to scores of executives who have been through training conducted by others – often some of the best brand names in the business. Any methodology taught has to be used often and be simple to recall. Inspiring people is one thing, improving their natural communications style is another. I make sure that everything I deliver is based on our brain’s natural ability to remember – say in threes, fives of sevens. I teach my clients a number of proven methodologies that work and are easy to recall under pressure. Specific speaker training is helpful if you want to become a professional speaker. That won’t include everyone reading this book. However, if you know you want to become better at communicating on a more granular level, say at a meeting or even a networking function, you can still reap the rewards of working with those of us who teach these skills every day. To smooth over the nerves and remove those distracting habits that hold back your ability to think on your feet and basically nailing it, is what you deserve to do. The following experts have their own take on this process. MARIETTE RUPS-DONNELLY Director of Powerhouse Presentation A successful leading actor and singer and an experienced voice, movement, acting, and camera teacher, Mariette Rups-Donnelly has reflected on, analysed, and refined her experience and knowledge to become a highend presentation coach and an outstanding

corporate speaker. Her presentation skills, influence, engagement, emotional connection, and leadership are enjoyed across all sectors; from government to technology, finance, banking, design, construction, academia, retail, non-profit, utilities, mining, law, to recruitment and hospitality. She mixes a wicked sense of humour with valuable information and a huge dollop of inspiration. How did you first develop your public speaking skills? MR: I first started public speaking at school and at university. Then, as a young actor, I was required to speak about the shows and plays I was in to the media and to a variety of interested groups. I initially drew on my ability to tell stories and to entertain. I very quickly became aware that the voice, body language, and emotional connection skills actors are taught contribute a great deal to what audiences perceive as excellent speaking. I had also devised and written shows, so I understood how to structure for audience engagement and connection and I was a language specialist, so I was well aware of the power of well-chosen words. Is professional training always necessary? MR: It depends on your natural skill set and where you want Togo with your speaking. All of us benefit from good professional training if we want to improve in any area endeavour. Did you make any BIG mistakes early on and what did you learn from them? MR: Very early on I discovered that what I wanted to share with an audience was not necessarily what they wanted to hear from me. I learned to carefully research and understand every audience. Not necessarily a BIG mistake, but a common one. How do you prepare for a speaking engagement? MR: I research, reflect, and make notes. I walk and talk to myself to get a feeling for GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 97

the flow and I rehearse aloud to an imaginary as there is only one or two. There is a style of audience ... a lot. Before an engagement, I theatre performance and stand-up comedy warm up. where the performer appears as if they can’t ‘cut it’. What most people don’t realise is that How do you combat nerves? it takes loads of preparation and a special MR: I start managing my nerves as soon as I talent to pull off. notice I get nervous, which can sometimes be weeks before a big presentation. Nerves can WENDY MCGUINNESS affect you in different ways so I use different Principal of Bentley McGuinness Media techniques. If my breathing is affected, and Former Radio Presenter I work on that; if my thought process is Wendy McGuinness has a reputation detrimental to my performance, I work on as a warm, clear, and engaging public that. I am aware of managing subtle shifts in speaker, and is in demand from corporate, nervous energy, stress, and tension on a daygovernment, and non-profit organisations to-day basis. across Australia. She is also part of the Public Relations Institute of Australia’s (PRIA) If you falter while you’re addressing an presentation program. Almost20 years of audience, what do you do? news reading, live broadcasts, voice-over MR: If it is not important and I don’t work, and talking to national media on think the audience has noticed, I go on as if nothing has happened. If it is obvious but not behalf of major organisations, are testament to Wendy’s reputation as a polished presenter. important, I will make a joke out of it. If it is important and needs to be corrected, I will She has presented news and live program correct it and go on. I will never try to cover broadcasts on some of the nation’s top-rating it up. It only becomes a problem if I make it a radio stations and prides herself on making her presentations matter. problem. We are all human. Is being vulnerable and failing what people admire in today’s most popular speakers, versus being 100% rehearsed? MR: I think we misunderstand what a rehearsed presentation is. I have heard people say they always wing it without realising they have been informally rehearsing and preparing for weeks. When you are underrehearsed you are in danger of rambling, going over time, repeating yourself or leaving out important points. Rehearsed does not mean slick. A great speaker can be fully rehearsed and be vulnerable and sound as if they are saying it for the first time. When you are young, you can be ‘raw’. It’s charming. As you get older, it can appear as if you do not respect your audience. No one likes to watch a presenter almost fail. Mistakes can endear us to audiences as long 98 | GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016

How did you first develop your public speaking skills? WM: While it wasn’t quite as humiliating as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, voice coaching with one of the industry’s best was humbling. We agonised over things like voice projection, pitch, tempo, clarity, and the odd Aussie pronunciation deficit, like ‘Austrayian’, rather than Australian. Reading the news on national AM and FM stations taught me that different audiences have different needs and expectations. I learned quickly that it wasn’t about my preferences – it was about the audience’s needs – knowledge that the best public speakers embrace. ABC listeners might recoil in horror at some

of the celebrity stories that excite some FM stations, so I learned to cater to my audience. What interests them? What do they need to know? How much detail do they need? Radio is brutal so every word needs to count – there is no time for superfluous information. I’ve heard that the average attention span is about six minutes – so the best public speakers will make those minutes count. Approximately every three words count for a second in radio and TV, so you soon learn to cull with the best of them. Is professional training always necessary? WM: Few people have the velvety touch of Martin Luther King Jr. Even some of the most accomplished CEOs in the country are surrounded by people who are too scared to tell them their delivery is monotone and they could bore for their country. Many of those around you may be used to your speedy delivery or nervous twitch and so they aren’t objective.

When I want my car fixed, I go to a mechanic; when my dog is sick, I go to a vet; when I need a check-up, I go to my GP. Professional trainers provide the perfect check-up. We are trained to identify and build on strengths and suffocate the weaknesses. We know how to boost your energy or add impact to your presentation – it’s our bread and butter. Almost anyone can speak, but only a few will deliver words that others remember. In Martin Luther King’s words, ‘I have a dream’ that professionals will always present themselves in the best way possible – by calling in other professionals to bulletproof their performance. People at the top of their game in business and elite sport spend time learning and refining their skills. There is an expectation that they will also be able to present well too. Using a professional trainer is important. Colleagues are often reluctant to be brutally GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 99

honest on ways to improve, or perhaps they recognise the problem but don’t know what advice to give. A professional trainer stakes their reputation and yours on the ability to provide a frank assessment and provide concrete tools and practise to get results. Did you make any BIG mistakes early on and what did you learn from them? WM: Early mistakes were my greatest gift. I remember the adrenalin pumping when I was sent to my first crime scene as a rookie reporter. I had seen this sort of thing on TV and now I was at the centre of a life and death shooting and siege. After my first live cross, the news director called to tell me to stop sounding so bloody excited. I had made the mistake of making the story about me – not the audience. The listeners couldn’t care less about my milestones; they wanted me to tell the story accurately, calmly, and professionally. In public speaking, it’s not about you; it’s about the audience. In 1991, while announcing the end of the Gulf War, I crossed live to Washington for a presidential announcement. I was horrified to be greeted by deathly silence. The president wasn’t ready yet, so I had to fill the silence until he took to the lectern. It helps to know your stuff so that you can speak off the cuff when needed. How do you prepare for a speaking engagement? WM: The most important thing is to know the audience. Who are they? What do they know? What do they want to know? How can I help them? How can I make my knowledge relevant to them? Am I here to educate, persuade, motivate – what is my aim for this presentation? There’s 100 | GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016

no point in reeling off a shopping list of information – you need to consider what information will help your audience. Make sure the content is relevant to them and weave in references to their industry, where possible. If I don’t know anything about my audience, how can I possibly resonate with them? When I have identified the audience’s needs, I develop a list of headlines or key themes that I must address in that presentation. Of all the things I know, what must they know after this presentation? How will I bring that information to life? Do I have any industry examples? Maybe an anecdote, a visual, audio – what will interest my audience? Once I have drafted the content of my key themes, I walk away from the notes and recall and practise presenting as much of the information as I can. I am usually well versed by the third attempt. Recalling the information is much more interesting than reading a script while gripping the lectern or boring the audience silly by reading swathes of information on a PowerPoint. You should always arrive early to familiarise yourself with the surroundings and any equipment. Smile and enjoy the ride; it will be one of the most exhilarating rides you will ever take. How do you combat nerves? WM: A great technique is to change the focus from you as the presenter and focus instead on the audience. They have come to hear what you have to say; they are not there to tear you down. Come from a place of wanting to help the audience or add something to their day. When you are focused on helping others, you are less obsessed about your own anxieties. Besides, a few butterflies boost your energy and alertness, so embrace the nerves as a positive.

Take a sip of water to regain your composure Controlling your breathing is a crucial part of and make eye contact with a friendly face the performance. in the audience. It will re-energise you and Before the presentation, take a minute to boost your confidence. perform the 4 x 4 breathing technique. Breathe in deeply for four counts, then Borrow the physiology of a confident person breathe out for four, and repeat this four until you believe it again. Lean forward, times. Remember to pause during the move your hands to make a point and boost presentation – this not only allows the energy, and move around the stage. Make audience to absorb what you have said; it sure your stance is confident and energetic: also allows you to keep your breath steady no slumped shoulders, no downcast eyes or and calm. Many people make the mistake crossed arms. of forgetting to pause and breathe, and soon run out of breath – which makes them appear Sometimes it can be okay to make a joke extra nervous and adds to their own anxiety. about a stumble – it depends on the audience and the issue. People will usually forgive Watch your self-talk. If you are telling mistakes, but they won’t forgive you for yourself that this is scary and everyone will boring them silly. be judging you – you are giving the negativity oxygen. Instead, remind yourself that you Is being vulnerable and failing what people are passionate, informed, and well prepared, admire in today’s most popular speakers, and have been asked to contribute because versus being 100% rehearsed? you have something to offer. Maybe listen to WM: Robots don’t resonate. To connect music or do something that relaxes or inspires with your audience, you need to be human, you before the presentation. and being human means being vulnerable. Everyone remembers the ‘real Julia’ when Visualise yourself delivering the presentation former Prime Minister Julia Gillard in a confident, calm, and friendly manner. announced that she was going to return to a Imagine that the audience looks engaged and more natural communication style. satisfied. Visualisation is used by professional athletes to help them reach their goals. When the Victorian Chief Commissioner of Police, Ken Lay, resigned in December 2014, We all know how much better it feels to commentators complimented his relaxed style go into an exam well researched, so do and ‘down-to-earth’ approach. He lost his your homework for the presentation. Some composure during his farewell speech and might also like to have emergency plans, was applauded for being real. like what happens if the PowerPoint fails or you freeze – what will you do? Planning for There is of course a very big difference contingencies provides extra comfort. between being vulnerable and being totally unprepared or boring. Don’t ever disrespect If you falter while addressing an audience, your audience or your own reputation by what do you do? delivering a presentation without preparation. WM: Firstly, relax – no one is perfect. To get back on track, take a deep breath in and out Your action list (not directly into the microphone, it might • Identify those nervous ticks, niggling sound like you are having an asthma attack). habits or presenting weaknesses, and train GLOSS DEC - JAN 2016| 101

• •

them away accordingly – be it in public speaking, webinar engagements, media interviews, job interviews, or new business meetings. Use feedback forms or hot verbal debriefs from clients straight after delivering your messages to know where you can improve. Anecdotal evidence can help you to tweak your performance; including family, close peers, and friends who are usually the most honest audiences and want the best for you. Rehearse in a variety of places so you can be fully across the content and not wedded to a certain set of ‘conditions’ or notes to share your ideas effortlessly. Don’t rely on pages of word-for-word speech notes or PowerPoint presentations to give you confidence as it often has the opposite effect. Be real, be vulnerable and be you. If it feels and sounds like your own ideas then the listener or viewer will have the most chance to relate to what you are saying and buy whatever you are selling.

To purchase your own copy of ‘Well Said: How to be heard in business and generate real influence’ by Amber Daines,’ as a an ebook, printed book and with a six-part video series, go to

Amber Daines has devoted the past 18 years to mastering communications, with a career as a print and TV journalist, PR executive, writer, marketer, fundraiser and media trainer. As CEO of Bespoke Communications, Amber is also a regular presenter and key note speaker.. Contact Amber here

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LBD is not a meet, greet and quickly swap cards and walk away business network. LBD is about community. It is about being able to sit down in a small and intimate environment and truly talk with other women who may already inspire you – or making new connections whom you yourself can assist in some way with your own expertise and creative thinking. It is a think tank, a place for debate, inspiration, ideas and driving change.

Based in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and now Perth, LBD Group has a simple message for women of worth.

INSPIRE others in their journey. CONNECT with those who share your vision. Take the opportunity to SUCCEED alongside them.


LBDGroup would like to thank our partner supporters:

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