Episode #13

04 Jun 2020 | Tales of the C-Suite

Unprecedented times – a unique opportunity

For Australians, the end of the lockdown is in sight.

As our focus begins to shift from working at home to returning to the office, career stability and longevity will take centre stage. It is affecting us all in different ways, for some a sense of excitement, others a sense of anxiety and trepidation.

For all of us, though, it is a new beginning. There is uncertainty everywhere, and few will remember how you were before.

This strange time offers you a once in a career opportunity: to re-set how you show up in your work-life. To step forward into a leadership role and show others, you are the obvious choice.

Corporate office with two professional women

Pause Reflect Reframe

Before that happens though, do take advantage of these last days to pause and reflect.

Click here to download the checklist: 5 Things You Need To Do

In the new world, what do you want to be known for? The answer to this one question starts with first understanding who you are, what you stand for, what is important to you, what are your values. It will also be pivotal to your future success.

Do you want to be:

  • Perceived as very polished and professional?
  • Or perhaps more entrepreneurial and an ideas person?
  • The person who can always get an audience with the CEO, the trusted advisor?
  • The diplomat who can be entrusted to ease a client’s concerns?
  • The person who knows the numbers and can drive a spreadsheet better than anyone else?

Being the go-to expert in a specific situation or niche helps you to attract greater recognition and more opportunities.

To be the obvious choice for the project lead or cross-functional team, charged with steering your organisation through the post-pandemic economy. It doesn’t matter what you choose. Each is a path to success. And it is up to you; you just need to be true to yourself and decide what is right for you. Your path.


A newer version of you

I am mentoring a smart, astute, ambitious manager, with a solid record of achieving her KPIs. At the mid-career point, she is ready to take the next step in her career.

I challenged her to visualise the first minutes of her return to the office at the end of lockdown. 

I asked her to imagine, in the finest detail, standing on the top step at the entrance to the office, feeling the swish of the air-conditioning as the sliding doors open, pausing for a moment at the internal door with her hand resting on the steeliness of the door handle.

  • What will she be wearing – consider colour, style, shoes, jewellery – do these clothes make her feel confident or shabby?
  • What will her hair and make-up look like?
  • How will she be holding her head and shoulders, what will her posture say?
  • What will she have done in the preceding minutes to boost her energy? Did she run up the last few stairs, belted out her favourite song in the car, listened to a favourite upbeat podcast on the train?
  • Whom is she planning to “accidentally” run into that first week?
  • What lines from the best five books she dove into during lockdown, will be running through her mind?

Her return has been a complete success.


The professional and personal choices we make every day create our future. They roll forward setting up the next decision frames and future experiences. You can reach your highest potential no matter your backstory or the set of events that led you to where you are today.

There is something immensely powerful that happens when you decide to back yourself. To do the work required, make the changes, and take steps to be the obvious choice for the next senior role. It could not be more simple yet more powerful.

It is up to you, and seek the support of others to guide and cheer you on.


“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!”

― William Hutchison Murray


Be the obvious choice to the C-Suite.

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