In my early twenties, I wanted to change the world. I was going to run a huge corporation, and things would be done my way. It was, I believed, a reasonable dream. This master plan was certainly something that I saw no reason I could not aspire to. There was just one tiny glitch. Having been expelled from school without qualifications, it transpired that I was unemployable. With my resolution firmly intact I headed off to night school to get some and with renewed vigor I got my feet onto the first rungs of the corporate ladder.
When I did, I found I had entered into the a largely male-dominated world that was also hugely sexist. It was an unusual world for this idealist, outspoken young lady who did not suffer fools gladly, especially ones in long pants.
It appeared to me that men (generally) got promoted over women who were vastly more competent or so it seemed. Now don't get me wrong, I loved the vibe, I only wanted some recognition for my enthusiasm, hard work, and dedication.
I worked my butt off for years in the vain hope that I would be chosen to enter the kingdom of the boardroom. I made it as far as the senior leadership team, and then I was made redundant. It was with a bitter heart that I shunned the corporate world and left them to their petty politics and stupid antics.
Entering the world of self-employment was equally weird, but vastly more exciting, and it suited the way that I wanted to live and work. Dipping in and out of the corporate world to deliver training programmes and executive coaching was fun. Walking out of a building at the end of a training programme knowing that I didn't have to be embroiled in 'their stuff' on was wonderful.
My mission was to get in there and to get as many people as possible connected to who they are and to understand their personal brand. Not at a superficial level but physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. My dream was that everyone I touched would recognise their passion, purpose and values and create a vision that enabled them to do what they are fantastic at; not just good at.
I wonder how many women find themselves disconnected from the corporate world because they discover their brand values no longer match those of their employers?
While I may enjoy self-employment, my wish is that more women stay in the corporate world, get to the board and change the culture from the inside. When there, create opportunities for the right people to create corporations that are socially responsible and which help make our world a better place.
Instead of jumping ship and saying to hell with it, what I'd like to see is women saying 'come on let's sort this mess out.' Corruption, greed, famine, pollution and a myriad of other things that are affecting the world and need to be addressed. We can make a difference on the inside as well as the outside.
Can you stay on board?
I guess that has to do with you, your values, passion, purpose, vision and the culture your find yourself in. If women are not given a chance to share their many gifts and perspectives, how can we bring about the changes required?
I believe that women are different from men. Yes, there are some amazing men who do fantastic things and equally some pretty horrible women. On the whole (generally and in my experience), we embrace difference, are more nurturing, accepting and respectful of each others individuality.
We live in a colourful world that could if we have the right people in the right places, be safe, positive and nurturing. So who better to do the nurturing than women who were born to protect the 'family'?
If you are up for staying on board and steering Mother Earth from the inside, what steps can you take to help yourself?
- Work out who you are, what drives you, what your values, passion, purpose and vision are. Know your big why
That is rather simplistic I know, because there are so many variables. However if believe you can, who knows what you can achieve?
Let me ask you, if you were to stay in the corporate world what would be your ideal position, what would you be doing on the inside that would have an impact on the outside? What steps can you take to make this a reality?