Welcome to IC’s Leadership Brand Blog

Balancing Your Corporate Image, Personal Style & What’s On Trend

Over the past 10 years, I've spent a fair bit of time sitting in company foyers waiting to be greeted prior to hosting corporate leadership branding workshops.

With the advent of "Bring your whole self to work", I have seen many interesting interpretations to this statement. I've seen women wearing short leather skirts, see-through tops, and hot pants and that's just in the foyer.

While these might be the right choice for the weekend I have a deep fear that women are putting themselves at risk of not being taken seriously in the boardroom. This doesn't stop in corporate organisations either.

Lately, I've seen more and more T.V personalities and Entrepreneurs exposing a crazy amount of cleavage and I've wondered why? Is it really necessary? Do you need to expose that much of yourself to get your point across....me thinks NOT!

You all know I'm a huge advocate for women claiming the leadership positions they deserve so when you read this post know that I am coming from a place of wanting to see all women succeed at the highest level.

At the end of the day, women shouldn't lose sight of the fact that they are still going to a place of business to do business.

Given women have so many clothing options they can find themselves in dangerous territory if they don't balance their corporate image, personal style and what's on trend.

I'm a huge advocate for "bringing your whole self to work" but as women, we need to keep the focus on the quality of our work and not on our body parts.

Personally, I think "bringing your whole self to work" brings a wonderful opportunity for women to re-discover their true personal style. To date, women have been conditioned to dress and act like men and some of my clients have forgotten how to tap into their strong feminine energy.

One of the most common questions I get asked by clients is, "How can I inject my own personal style and still look office ready?

Here's a simple formula that I created and share with clients. I hope it helps you find your balance.

Generally speaking an outfit is made up of 3 key ingredients – also known as "Rule of Three". Here's a previous article on this. If you follow this formula, it should put you in good stead to strike the right balance.


1. Always have one structured classic/timeless piece in your outfit. Whether it be classic style pant, skirt or jacket. The structured piece will keep your outfit looking tailored and professional.

2. Always have one piece (structured or unstructured) that reflects your personal style. This piece can incorporate your style with the use of a print, colour choice or fabric choice.

3. The final piece should give a nod to what’s on trend and within reason (ie a top, necklace style, scarf, the style of pant, a lip colour, bag or print).

Here are a few examples to demonstrate the above.




Image 1: The overall look is office ready. The skirt is a classic style in an "on-trend" colour being burgundy. Leather can have a suggestive effect, however, because its worn in a structured, classic style/length it's still office appropriate. You'll notice the top and sleeveless vest are in neutral/classic styles.

Image 2: The black cigarette pants and top are very classic and timeless. It's paired back with a classic structured blazer that's in an "on-trend" colour. P.S Wearing all black on the inside creates a slimming effect.

Image 3: Everything about this outfit is office ready. A classic blazer (with a slight twist) teamed with a pair of "on-trend" culottes. The culottes offer a twist on the classic pant but are well and truly office appropriate.

Image 4: The black skirt is your classic high waisted style. It's teamed it with a top that is currently on trend and overall the look is office appropriate.

Looking at the above examples, the women all look office ready, on trend and strike a great yin/yang balance that is office appropriate and signals their ready for the next leadership opportunity that comes their way.

Regardless of what's trending at the moment, try to stay true to yourself. Know what you look good in, what you like and stick to that.

As you get dressed for work tomorrow morning, think about your short and medium term career goals and present a personal leadership brand that is going to take you one step closer to achieving your professional goals.

Here's to all women claiming the positions they deserve.

Janette

P.S If you're an ambitious, heart-centered professional women who wants to leverage your leadership brand then please come and join our LinkedIn group here.



Is Your Leadership Brand Ready For The Future Of Work?

Gone are the days of having a "typical" linear career path. The "Job for life" ceases to exist. More and more people will be bought in where and when it’s needed and ‘Retainer and call‐up’ contracts will be frequently used for rare skills.

As the pace of change in business is accelerating and competition for the right talent is fierce; leaders will need to adapt and re-train to meet the skills of the future.

So what is the future of work and how are you going to leverage your leadership brand to future-proof your career? 

Here are two thoughts for consideration.

1.YOU MUST SELF LEAD YOUR CAREER.

More and more organisations are encouraging employees to manage their own careers. As a SELF-leader, you will be taking an active role in your own career development. You will be seeking the services of external service providers to help you acquire the skills you need to build a strong leadership brand. Get clear now on the skills of the future and think about how you can position yourself for success.

You also recognise that as you grow and evolve you need to retain your core sense of identity and values because you are seeking greater meaning and relevance in what you do. Understanding your WHY will help you find the right job in an organisation that reflects your own personal values. 

Ultimately, personal branding is no longer an option; it’s a powerful leadership enabler.

2.THE ROLE OF AI AND WHY YOU NEED A VISIBILITY PLAN

An AI-powered talent tool will be developed in the not too distant future. Its purpose is to help organisations find the talent they need no matter which platform its on. 

Every single professional woman needs to have a personal brand that is separate from the company brand.

I want you to think of your brand as your most prized asset. You can take it with you where ever you go. Your authentic visible brand will put you in a strong position as the search for talent becomes increasingly fierce.

Consider creating a separate website for yourself, make yourself visible on LinkedIn, comment on group discussions and share what's important to you. If you build an authentic personal brand and leave a trail of searchable breadcrumbs revealing who you are, you will attract potential talent and organisations to you that share your values.

When your personal brand is attractive, companies looking to hire, will find you and reach out to you.Your personal brand can help you communicate your leadership aspirations and before you know it, you’ll be head-hunted!

I don’t want you to be the worlds best-kept secret. Get out there and get clear on your visibility plan.

As you know I'm fiercely driven to see more and more women claim the positions they deserve by helping them craft an authentic leadership brand that is aligned to who they are, what they do and why they do it.

If want to be the driver of your career and learn how to create a strong personal leadership brand, register your interest for our program, "The SELF leader Brand Map". Our next enrolment will be in early 2018.

Janette

P.S If you're an ambitious, heart-centered professional women and you want to leverage your leadership brand then please come and join our LinkedIn group here.

Janette


Your Brand Is Your Personal Promise

Your brand always begins with your values. What do you stand for?

Many of you know that my personal promise is:

"To help professional women close the leadership gap by helping them craft a leadership brand that enables them to claim the positions they deserve"

I've become known by many as the go-to personal brand expert for professional women. When I set out to serve professional women in 2007, I knew that I had a gift to share. The past ten years have been nothing short of inspirational. Whether I have delivered a leadership branding program for an organisation, a keynote or have worked with a professional woman one-on-one, being clear on my brand promise has made the experience for both myself and my client positive and effortless.

Every six months I reflect on my own brand and ask myself if I have been truly living my brand promise? Have my actions been in alignment with my values?

It's easy to list values on a website, or write them down on a piece of paper but how often do we really live them out aloud through our actions?

Have you ever experienced that feeling of confusion and disappointment when you meet someone in person for the first time to only discover that their social persona is nothing like their "real life" persona? Its deflating and a real reality check!

I wanted to share an exercise with you called "Back To The Future Thinking" courtesy of Brian Tracey. Its an exercise I have used to help me clarify the value I bring to my clients and it can help you crystalise your brand promise. Watch it here.




As my network has continued to increase, I wanted to say thank you to all of you who have connected with me, hired our services, who have read my articles and who believe in my driving force. Because some of you are new connections, I wanted to take a moment and share with you the six core values and the promise I deliver to you and my clients.



"Janette's strength is that she takes the time to get to know you, your brand personality and your lifestyle. Janette's goal is to let your true style shine through so that you can focus on your strengths." Sue


"Janette is honest in her opinion, which I love and is always so positive. I am actually amazed at how she still knows what will work for me and what won’t three years on." Michelle



"As soon as we met Janette we knew she was the right person to lead our women in mortgage business network seminar series across three cities." Mortgage Finance Ass. Of Australia




"If you are looking for someone to inspire and assist you in finding the confident person you want to be, Janette is the first and only person I would call." Sara


"Janette knows her stuff! She is incredibly personable and loves doing what she does. She knows how to translate sensible and realistic advice." Danielle

"Janette's natural ability to identify with her clients is amazing. I left feeling empowered. She listens intensively and has such a warm and caring nature." Sara


Thanks for taking the time to connect and share my articles. I hope this exercise will help you get clear on your personal brand promise as it did for me.

Ultimately, this all comes back to the legacy you want to leave, the lives you want to impact and the person you want to become.

Styling Your Success

Janette





How Your Personal Colours Impact Your Interior Styling

If you read my posts you'll know this post is not what I usually write about, however my client Sylwia popped into the studio the other day to start her personal brand journey and we embarked on assessing your best personal colours.

She was shocked to realise that she decorated her home according to her own personal colours and lived in a home that reflected her style personality. She suggested that I should write about it as she was so impressed with how her natural instinct led her to make choices around the location of her home and how she styled her home. For some reason, she knew she felt very comfortable and harmonious in her surroundings BUT had no idea that it was so closely connected to her personal colouring.

So what is the connection you might be wondering?

Let's start by me showing you what a colour swatch looks like. This swatch below contains every colour that suits your personal colouring. There are colours in there that are "neutral" colours that you use to purchase your big-ticket pieces in such as your suits, blazers, pants, coats, jackets and skirts. The remaining "basic" colours are those you use to purchase your tops and accessories in. You can also use this principle to purchase your couches/armchairs and bedspread in your neutral colours and cushions, throws and other soft furnishings in your basic colours
.


Each one of us is subconsciously drawn to colours, prints, and textures that correlate with our own “seasons”. Many of my clients are blown away when they discover that their bedspread, cushions, couches, rugs, and artwork are actually in their own personal colours and best prints. Let's explore the four main seasons and how they apply to the interior styling of your home.

Winters

Winters like bold colours and geometric prints such as stripes, dots, chevron, checks, and plaids. They will often use these prints in their soft furnishings such as pillows, throws, lampshades, and rugs. They like to live in high-rise apartments/loft style with city views or glamour’s looking homes.


Winters may choose white, black, charcoal or navy as colour choices for their couch. When it comes to their soft furnishings they may go for royal purples, lemon yellows, hot pink, emerald greens, royal blues, bright reds or stick with a monochromatic style.

Autumns

Autumns like earthy tones and their homes are usually surrounded by lots of trees. They often are drawn to timber and like the idea of texture such as velvet and linen. The prints which they gravitate to include leaves, abstract floral and even some leopard print


When it comes to their couch, autumns are most likely to aim for dark chocolate, tan or olive green. For their soft furnishings, they will aim for caramels, oranges, taupes, grass greens, chocolates, aubergine, mustard yellows, – all the colours you’d find in the forest.

Summers

Summers like their home to be comfortable and often have a “beach” or “Hamptons” style décor. They also like to live near the water. They very much value natural fibers like linen, pure wool, and cotton. Their favourite prints include floral, some stripes (nautical look) and some texture such as frills, tweed, linen or ruffles.


When it comes to their couch, summers may choose white, taupe, charcoal or navy. With regard to soft furnishings, they will be drawn to duck egg blue, light grey, pastel pink, lavender, steel blue, dusty purple and sea green.

Springs

Springs are lovers of life and also love to live in eclectic neighbourhoods surrounded by art galleries, the theatre, and cafes. They are drawn to lots of different things so you will find that they update their furnishings on a regular basis to match their current interests. They will often go for bright happy colours and have an eclectic taste for prints. They often collect great pieces during their world travels.


Springs may go for corals, lime green, bright yellows, salmon, teal, tomato red, bright purples, orange and bright blues. Springs are happy to not use a neutral core colour and instead opt for a bright colour.

So not only does a colour swatch help you dress, it also helps you select a harmonious location for your home and help you create an interior space that is totally reflective of who you are as a person.

I hope you've enjoyed reading this post and have found it as interesting as my client Sylwia.

If you'd like to embark on your very own personal brand journey, come and join me and 20 other ambitious women and learn,  The Art Of Self Packaging For Success. Click here to register. 

Styling Your Success,

Janette

Stage and Screen Presence For The Professional Woman

Whether you realise it or not, every day you will find yourself on a "platform" where you'll be presenting, be it on stage, in a meeting room or in front of a screen.

Officially you may not have "speaker" as part of your job description but the truth is we are all speakers.

Like most professional women you will be required to step up and speak whether it be on a stage, in a meeting room, at an event, on a podium, in a lecture theater or pitching to key stakeholders.

Your leadership brand is the first element of your executive presence that provides insight into who you and what you are about as a person.

With our world becoming smaller and teams becoming global, there are a plethora of virtual communication tools that allow you to be seen and heard. So how are you leveraging your Leadership brand for maximum impact?

Let's dive deep and explore ways to maximise your leadership brand for both stage and screen.

1. Align your personal style to your audience

Each speaking engagement may require you to alter your personal style depending on your audience and objectives. Select three adjectives that give you a framework of how you want to be perceived. Whilst it's important that you consistently deliver on your personal brand, there will be times that you need to make slight adjustments so that you have impact and influence with your audience. There is a great concept called "Yin/Yang" that I teach my clients who are speakers and those who need to wield influence. Click here for more information.

2. Select your stage outfit

Ultimately have this action completed one week prior to the event/session. This will allow you ample time to try on your outfit and rehearse. This will also help you visualise yourself in the moment and what you will look and feel like.

If you are planning to present from a large stage, avoid too many stripes, checks, small patterns and bright colours. Block solid colours usually work best. The fit of your clothing is also important. Ensure there are no pulls going across your hips or chest particularly if you will be moving about the stage.

Ensure you know what the background colour is. For example, some TED talks are held in a room with a black background so it's best not to wear black otherwise you'll look like you have a disembodied head.

Don't forget to consider your accessories. Avoid dangling jewelery that could interfere with microphones.

3. Colour Contrast

Whenever you are giving a presentation to a smaller audience, the best contrast to aim for is “medium”. Medium contrast is when you combine a light colour with a dark colour in your outfit as seen below. This level of contrast has just the right amount of colour to keep the audience engaged without distracting them from your message. This will be especially important if listeners can only see the top half of your outfit.

If you are presenting from a large stage, wearing high contrast will give you presence. 

There are 3 levels of contrast, high medium and low. Here are examples.





4. Colour Placement

If colour is the very first thing our eyes notice then colour placement becomes paramount. Our main communication portals are our eyes and mouth. Ideally, when talking with someone, we want them focused on what we are saying. Placing colour high up in your business outfit will ensure the focus is on your message. Consider a high-placed accessory, lipstick, earrings, tie, glasses, brooch, scarf as your vehicle to direct others to where you want them to look.

5. Influencing Triangle

Did you know that the FIRST thing people remember about you are elements to do with grooming, rather than the specific clothes you wear? That might come as a surprise to some of you reading this post.



When watching T.V presenters, many times we can only see them from the waist up. Our eyes quickly scan and take in the whole picture and then our eyes typically rest on a portion of the body known as the influencing triangle. This area is at a point at the breastbone and then comes up and out – taking in the whole of our head. We specifically notice their hair, skin, eyes, teeth and lateral details around attire. If you are presenting on a screen the influencing triangle will play a big role in how you display your leadership brand.


6. Don't neglect your shoes

Test and break in your shoes. There would be nothing worse than trying to move around a stage or meeting room in pain. All women reading this post will know exactly what I mean. Don't forget that your shoes could be at eye level with the audience if you are speaking from a stage so make sure the heels and toe are in good repair.

7. Bring your energy

Energy, when it comes to conveying commitment, is not about movement, but about focus and passion. The communicator’s mouth and voice carry this energy – and the body naturally follows. To get you in state consider power posing and using affirmations to increase your energy levels before presenting. Did you know that Tony Robbins gets himself in the zone for about ten minutes prior to taking the stage. He gets his body “awake and alive” by jumping up and down, spinning around, fist pumping, stands with his arms outstretched, and even bounces on a trampoline. He has enough energy to keep 4,000 people engaged for 50 hours over four days (WOW)!

8. Consider your vocal pace

There will be times when speaking slowly gives your audience the mental space to breathe and take in what you have to say. This allows you to connect with them at a high cognitive level. During a teleconference, your voice is the whole thing, your only personal signature. Use all of it! It can help you convey all that you intend: precise meaning, level of confidence, and conviction. Respect the power of the pause. Be especially sensitive if the call is global or includes any participants whose first language is NOT English.

In essence, think of every speaking engagement as an opportunity to create a TED-like talk. It's an opportunity to share your unique message and for your personal and professional brand to gain visibility and authority. Many professional women want to have more visibility and this is a great way to achieve it.

If you are a professional woman and you'd like to learn more about how to leverage your personal brand, come and join me and 20 other ambitious women and learn, The Art Of Self Packaging For Success. Click here to register. Limited seats. 

Janette



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