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Get your heels into the C-Suite! Posted on November 29, 2018

Are you organising an IWD event?

International Women's Day [IWD] is on Friday, 8th March 2019! If you are organising an IWD event you might like to consider Suzie Lightfoot as your guest speaker.  Suzie is an Image Maker and Personal Brand Expert who is renowned for cutting through the noise in today’s new brand economy, presenting her audience with real life strategies and frameworks for growing their own Superstar public profiles to help them succeed in both life and business.


THREE STEP Guide for Women moving into the C-Suite

By Suzie Lightfoot

As a professional woman, do you find it difficult to ‘stand out and be heard’ in male-driven industries or workplaces? Do you find it challenging to find your voice even when you have earned your seat at the table?  Surprisingly, even some of the most successful women in business feel just like this. Are you one of them?  I know I was.

As a coach and mentor, I know hundreds of professional women who feel the exactly the same way. In fact, when talking to women about their goals and dreams for the future, one of the first things I ask them is “what holds you back from achieving the greater success you desire?”

The number one answer is always “I just don’t have the confidence!” And, not surprisingly, this is amplified by women who live and work in predominantly male-driven environments and industries. So why is this such an issue for us? 

How can we appear to be ‘kick-ass successful women in business on the outside, but still be feeling intimidated, insecure and vulnerable on the inside?  Well, thank goodness for research to shine a little light on the matter!

To prove to us that this struggle is real and not all part of our imagination! 

We don't see women as leaders! 

According to research by US academic Karen Lee Ashcraft, we just don’t see women as leaders and it's holding us back! 

And, even though gender equality in the workplace is a much-discussed topic these days, statistics from the Australian Institute of Company Directors, also shows that the overwhelming majority (74.6 per cent) of ASX 200 directorships are held by men! 

The truth is, in an industry or organization that is mostly male-driven, we often find it difficult as women to navigate through the cloud of ‘testosterone’ of the environment to truly be seen and heard.  And as a result, during executive meetings and corporate huddles, we hold back!

Instead of speaking up, we withdraw. We remain silent with pent-up insights and ideas for the company’s success that stay shelved in our heads because we feel that our voice is not truly valued, or we just don’t have the confidence!  At the end of the day, we feel more invisible than invincible, and our mind is screaming – “Why didn’t I say that?”

However, as although it can seem overwhelming to come out of your chrysalis, it will certainly be a career killer and a personal crisis to stay there!

It’s time to become the most confident person you know!  You know that beautiful, bold, smart one you see in the mirror!  Be her!

She takes chances, she voices out her opinions, she carries herself with grace. This was not the woman who attended board meeting earlier.

It's time to be a woman with executive presence! 

So, it’s time to stop feeling outnumbered by men and step up our game as a collective force, because as women we are uniquely gifted in the leadership takes!  

Here’s how you can build your confidence and craft your executive presence to breakthrough to the next level in your leadership journey by learning to learn to own our power and use it to thrive not survive with men-at-work!

Be the most confident person you know!

I have worked with hundreds of women in business and despite their professional success, the most common thing holding them back from achieving the greater success they deserve, and desire is self-confidence!

Yet confidence is key to mastering executive presence.  It is also what makes a woman seem effortlessly stylish, authentic and attractive.  Yes, attractive!   Because, the truth is, when you have confidence, people are attracted to your energy and presence!

STEP ONE. Write a mantra! 

(kytes – add a quote to the comment bubble on the image “I am unstoppable!”

Believe it or not mindset matters in the perception of your brand!  Ladies, if you’re not convinced with who you see in the mirror, you can’t convince the people you work with that they need her, too!

Be the women you want to be!  Don’t hold back, just be HER! 

Stop listening to that little voice of self-doubt and start to identify who you are as a leader

Once you have greater clarity around your superpowers and your weakness, write a mantra that you can say to yourself EVERYDAY to replace that little nagging voice in your head that’s telling you “can’t”!

Identify your values, mission and purpose

Write a list, right here, right now! A list of your strengths, values you’re your value to others!  Then make a list of your weakness too, and then own it!

Define your leadership style and break old habits.

If you want a different outcome, then you must DO something different!  You are what you repeatedly do!  So, if you feel stuck in a rut and you are not receiving the authority or respect you desire as a leader at work, then try a different tack.

Invest in a self-discovery session to Identify your leadership style and unlock what is working for you and what is not.  Once you have greater clarity around the strategies that give you the most powerful results possible, you will be a more confident and effective leader.  

Write your mantra down!

Once you have greater clarity around your superpowers and your weakness, write a mantra that you can say to yourself EVERYDAY to replace that little nagging voice in your head that’s telling you “can’t”!

Because when you are repeatedly telling yourself positive things, you are shifting your mindset and reprograming your thoughts about your self-belief.   Your energy will shift and with that comes the ability to change people’s perception of you!

As Oprah Winfrey says, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”   

You are your own brand. Start to influence the way you see yourself then the impact on others will follow!

If you need help identifying your strengths, weaknesses and unlocking your values invest in a Style Profiling Session to help you understand your style personality and have it in line with your career and field of work. This way, you can reassess your goals and career ambitions to have it visible in your influence sphere! 

STEP TWO.  Enter with a bang!

You are a walking Logo!  

Your image is worth the investment, now is the time to discover your executive presence! A woman’s presence in a room, especially in a male-dominant workspace, is highly anticipated.  The fact is, they’re going to look – so enter with the impact and influence of a woman with confidence and leadership presence!   

It’s not about dressing up for them; it about dressing in a way that makes you feel empowered or that says ‘I’m a woman who means business’!

Your wardrobe is your wings. This is your visual brand identity. The best leaders are those that ‘show up’ and present themselves with impact and influence.   So, if you want to look like a leader and exude confidence, power and executive presence, then you need to take your image, professional style and wardrobe seriously. A change in wardrobe is noticeable, seeing it empower you is head-turning! 

So, here's what to do next!  

1. Invest in Style Profiling Session to help you analyse your style personality and align it with your industry and profession as well as your career goals and ambition. 

2. Audit your wardrobe to craft your new executive image this weekend!

3. Create a ‘style file’ and ‘mission list’ of the missing items you need to shop to complete your visual brand identity.

4. Invest in the ultimate personal brand photography session to update your professional profile photo on LinkedIn, social media forums, website and promotional material!

STEP THREE. Own your voice!

Speak your truth to lead with passion and purpose!

Why did we get here in the first place? Ah, that’s right… Because you have been feeling more visible than invisible in meetings and are remaining tight-lipped about what you know despite knowing you're capable of great things! 

Now that you have power-played your superpowers, mantra and visual identity, it’s time to own your voice and shape your leadership language!

Create your own voice chart by identifying the following:

1. What do you want to be known for? Write down what you want people to remember you for and say about you when you are NOT in the room.

2. Write down a list of positive power words and keywords that reflect the leader you want to be!  If you want to craft your influence, then start to shape your tone and voice to become recognized as a leader you want to be!

3. Write down all the keywords that relate to your industry, position, an area of expertise and your thought leadership space.  Start to use them consistently across all your communications!  If you want to be heard and seen as a leader you need to speak like a leader using the dynamic language that gets you cut through!


If you would like to know more about Suzie's keynote presentations, including how to step-up your career through personal brand leadership, contact us on 1300 55 64 69, for an obligation-free discussion.  


Passionate about helping people to step out of the shadows to Be Seen Be Heard and Be Noticed™ in both their lives and careers, Suzie helps professionals, small business owners, entrepreneurs and organisations to grow their influence, impact and income through the power of self-marketing and personal branding. Read more


Are you looking to create an amazing impact at your next conference? Contact the team at Great Expectation.