Today was the first day of our Broad Advantage program in Sydney, Australia (July 7-9th). We had girls attending from the world’s leading colleges and universities, most notably the University of Hong Kong, University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, Singapore Management University, USC, National University of Singapore, Monash University, University of Wollongong, University of Technology, Sydney. The event was sponsored by Lehman Brothers and Macquarie at the Platinum level, Accenture at the Gold level, and UBS and Goldman Sachs JB Were at the Bronze level.
Today we kicked off the event with Karen Matthews, the CEO of Ella Baché. She rocked the house and charmed the participants with her honesty and savvy advice. She spoke about “Thinking Big: Ready to run your own business?” She described about her career path and specific examples of challenges she’s faced as the CEO.
Some of her key points:
-Learn how to interpret the theory of your Degree and apply your college degree to your current work. I.E. how to interpret your Degree into the real world.
-Value the role of intuitive, spontaneous, ‘gut’ leadership.
-Use every stage of your journey to shape the next one; learn from every experience, both positive and negative.
-Surround yourself with the right people; you don’t know what you don’t know…
-A company is like a wheel, all the spokes need to be covered (marketing, accounting, reporting) or the wheel doesn’t turn. As a leader, recognize all the skills that are needed around the company wheel.
-Develop a clear road map with milestones and accountabilities to reach your goals…
-Think about opening the newspaper in 3 or 6 years time and reading an article about what you’re doing. Envision what the headline of the article would say, "…” The body of the article would naturally outline how one would achieve the things stated or lauded in the headline. This can be a great way to identify your goals based on gut feelings. This goal should be re-examined on a regular basis.
-A good leader highlights and celebrates wins and achievements.
-Get the buy-in of others…
-Constantly measure and review your and your company’s progress; never be afraid to change…
-Ask yourself and your colleagues: how can we do this better because companies, businesses and brands that don’t evolve, disappear…
In conclusion, Karen outlined what makes an amazing leader:Love what you do Entrepreneurial qualities Question everything and really listen Transparency and Honesty Never be afraid to admit that you don’t know Surround yourself with the right people Simplify your messages: STORYTELLING Compassion Intuition Determination
After lunch, Elizabeth Carter, a registered psychologist and communications coach from Bravo Communications, gave a great workshop about public speaking. She encouraged the audience to practice giving formal presentations and to rid themselves of their previous ideas about public speaking and to be open to self-examination and thus improvement. She led the participants in group activities such as the following: she had the girls think about the best presentations they’d ever seen and what about those particular presentations stuck with them. From there the girls were able to extrapolate the characteristics of a good presenter and the key elements of presentations. Elizabeth encouraged the audience to think about what areas they needed to work on and to outline an action plan for improving their skills. In monitoring and appraising their own performance, she had the girls rate their individual specific presentations on areas such as:
“I enjoy speaking before an audience.”
“I prepare thoroughly for every speech I present.”
“I always plan my speeches with a clear purpose for goal in mind.”
“I always consider my audience’s needs and interests when planning a speech.”
“I am able to organize my ideas into a clear, logical outline.”
“I speak with sincerity, earnestness and enthusiasm.”
“My speech openings capture audience attention and lead into my topic.”
“I support the main points of my speeches with relevant information or examples.”
“I end my speeches in a definite, memorable and conclusive manner.”
“I am able to speak effectively without depending upon notes.”
“My delivery is free of verbal crutches, such as ‘um’ or ‘ah.’ ”
“I use vocal variety to add emphasis and feeling to my words.”
“My gestures, body movements, and facial expressions are purposeful natural and spontaneous.”
“I use eye contact to establish bonds with my listeners.”
“I am able to think quickly and clearly in an impromptu situation.”
Elizabeth’s keys to giving a good presentation:
In the late afternoon, Lehman Brothers swept in with their One Firm presentation. They’ve recently acquired an investment management firm, Grange Securities, in Australia and are continuing their expansion across Asia-Pacific. It was quite apparent that the firm has a very entrepreneurial environment in Australia and that each person has the ability to propose new ideas and make an impact.
For those of you that don’t know what an investment bank such as Lehman Brothers actually does, here is a short description of the three major functions Lehman Brothers performs:
• Within the Investment Banking function: they advise companies on potential mergers and acquisitions; they also raise money through new issuances of stocks and/or bonds.
• Within Capital Markets, the Equities, Fixed Income and Prime Services groups act as a broker for the sale and trading of stocks and bonds.
• The Investment Management Division provides investment advice, products, and services to help meet the needs of its high net worth investors and institutional clients.
The Lehman Brothers panelists emphasized how one could work in several different areas of the firm over the course of your career.
Key points from Lehman Brothers panel:
-One needs to build your networks early on in your career.
-Lehman Brothers affords employees numerous opportunities to combine work and travel.
-Ideal candidates are self-starters who have the drive and initiative to go beyond their job description.
-Applicants should keep themselves up to date on the markets. One should form an opinion about what’s happening in those markets.
-For your interview, prepare thoughtful questions so that you can show that you’ve done your homework.
-Interviewing is a bit like match-making. You’re both trying to make sure it’s a good fit!
-Before an interview: do your homework and research the company.
-In an interview, do not be afraid to ask say, “I don’t know,” if in fact you do now know.
-Consider what subjects you do particularly well in and pursue those areas.
-If you’re extroverted you might be particularly good in a client facing role such as sales. If you’re quantitatively minded and a master of excel spreadsheets, you could make a great trader.
-When you’re in a role that you enjoy doing, doors will open.
We then traveled downtown to the Macquarie building for a highly successful cocktail reception. The food was fantastic and the conversations even better. The women from Macquarie were so down to earth that it was a pleasure speaking with them about what they do. Many of the women working in their HR department are actually pregnant. It was so inspirational to meet such strong (pregnant!) women working in finance. We’ll be visiting Macquarie again on Wednesday, so more about them to come!
My colleagues Michelle Eyles and Connie Cheung worked tirelessly to ensure that the day went smoothly. Michelle actually ran a marathon on Sunday, July 6th before flying to Sydney later that day. She came in 3357 in the marathon and 215 in her age group—-out of 7,000 runners! Congrats, Michelle.
If you’re interested in sponsoring or attending our Broad Advantage session in NYC later this summer (August 4-8th) go to www.broadadvantage.com and/or email me at email@example.com.
Selected Speaker Bios for Monday, July 7th 2008
CEO of Ella Blache
Karen Matthews was recently awarded the PWC National Franchise Woman of the Year 2007. She was also awarded the Telstra NSW Business Woman of the Year 2004 and PWC NSW Franchise Woman of the Year 2005. Karen is the proud mother of 2 children and heads up skincare company Ella Baché as CEO. Karen has successfully developed Ella Baché into a $20m company with revenue growth of 54% over the last 3 years. In 2007 Ella Baché was listed by BRW as the 16th fastest growing franchise in Australia.
Karen’s achievements include launching Australia’s first skincare franchise model in 2002, creating a profitable College of Beauty Therapy to underpin the franchise network with staff and future franchisees, launching Ella Baché’s incredibly successful Sun and Tan range and developing Ella Baché as a benchmark organisation with a unique culture based on intuitive leadership, strong values and a commitment to ongoing evolution and innovation across the entire business.
Before joining Ella Baché, Karen gained her experience in licensing and Brand Management for the FJ Benjamin Fashion Group as well as 12 years with Myer in various Buying and Marketing Management roles across Women’s Fashions and Fashion Accessories.
Registered Psychologist & Communications Coach
Proprietor, Bravo Communication
Elizabeth Carter, Psychologist and communication coach could be described as a late bloomer. After 10 years as a stay-at-home mum, she attended University of Western Sydney, where she achieved, (much to her own amazement) a Class 1, Honours Degree in Psychology, as well as an APA Scholarship to study written language acquisition in children.
After a 5 year slog at the PhD, juggling, work, family, work, home and study… and work, she threw up her hands and quit the PhD. During this time, she was able to, not only obtain an official divorce from her estranged husband, but also to obtain her registration as a Psychologist with the NSW Psychologists Registration Board through her research endeavours.
With no clinical background, and unable to find work as a psychologist, she worked as a Consultant with a prominent B2B market research company in Sydney. After some years of churning out endless customer satisfaction research reports and with a new man in her life, in January 2004 Elizabeth and her partner Tony started up Activ Storage Equipment Pty Ltd which remains a profitable business in Taren Point, dealing in pallet racking, steel shelving and other storage systems.
Her experiences at university as a mature age student, and her struggles to turn her life around have inspired Elizabeth to be constantly moving forward and learning new things while helping others strive towards their potential. Enter Bravo Communication.
Elizabeth registered Bravo Communication in July 2004, and has been helping people build their confidence through public speaking as a hobby from home, while running Activ Storage Equipment. Bravo specializes in public speaking training for teenagers, speech writing, wedding speech training and presentation training.
Last year Elizabeth took the quantum leap and left the pallet racking industry, to move Bravo Communication to the next level. Bravo Communication opened premises in Hurstville this year, where Elizabeth continues to teach public speaking, along with a whole new range of communication courses. Courses include: Customer Service Communication, Wedding Speeches, Job Seeking (labour market, resumes, applications and job interviews), Managing Nervousness, Women Communication, as well as the Public Speaking Courses.
Elizabeth is currently studying a Masters of Applied Science (Psychology of Coaching) at University of Sydney, and together with her daughter Ann, runs Bravo Communication.