Mindset, Confidence & Leadership Through The Pandemic
Published date: 29th April 2021 | Author: Susie Ramroop
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On Wednesday 21st April we were joined by Susie Ramroop to talk about mindset, confidence and leadership.
Susie Ramroop qualified as a Performance Coach in 2006, initially to enhance her own leadership style. She was a career rock star – Directing transformation teams in the tech sector, and winning awards across Europe as a marketing innovator, but something was missing. On reaching the top of her corporate game, she felt flat and questioned what she was working so hard for. She drew blanks, until she began to focus on her true passion – leading people rather than processes.
In 2014 she left her role as a consultant and crafted a career that focuses on making a difference to leaders of the future, either independently or corporately.
She empowers people to take the time to know themselves, take brave and relevant actions, in order to make the greatest contribution. She’ll show you how to lead by inspirational example and achieve a lasting impact, without any personal sacrifice.
Nothing gets past Susie – she sees all of your brilliance and will call out your limiting behaviour so that you surrender chuckling. Susie is an articulate and empowering Coach, who brings laser focus and an enormous heart to personal and business growth.
As the UK’s thought leader on impostor syndrome, Susie is an exciting and, occasionally, hilarious speaker that will have you raring to take action (that makes a difference) as you leave the room. Susie works privately with individuals, with Mastermind groups in business, and runs the utterly trans-formational Reset Retreat. She is the Author of the bestselling book ‘Be The Leader You Want To See’.
Tell us a little about you and what motivated you to became a mind-set coach & author
I was a hard working corporate girl striving to do her best for everyone else and the bottom line, while leaving my own needs unmet. My boss got me a coach and it was the beginning of a major transformation in 2004.
In 2005 I decided that I could do for my team what my coach did for me. I was Director of Product Development at the time for a global tech firm. I trained as a performance coach and turned the team performance around. Initially I didn’t have the courage to start my own business, but after being bullied at work I decided I had to redesign my life with me, family time, and client choice at the centre.
That was 6 years ago….Now I work with highly capable women who strive to reach balance, but without compromising on the impact they can have at work. They are typically senior leaders in tech and successful business owners. I coach a handful of men too.
I became an author last year when I’d had enough of hearing “you can’t be what you can’t see” at conferences. I see women nodding along, and then deciding that it’s OK for another woman to blaze the trail. It’s not OK. I believe everyone can lead if they have desire and clarity.
Did you have a female mentor or are there particular women who inspire you and why?
I have had all female coaches bar one. My mentors are both sexes, and they don’t know they’re my mentors! I am inspired by women who aren’t afraid to be bold and vulnerable in their desire to make a difference. They need to be able to park their ego too though.
Shanda Sumpter was my first business coach. She’s in the US and is extremely powerful and funny when she doesn’t mean to be. She was hard to take at times, but I can hear certain phrases still some 6 years on. She’s had a big influence on me.
What advice would you give anyone struggling with their mental health because of the pandemic and lockdowns?
I’d say don’t ignore how you feel. At times I have felt highly anxious, very low, feeling grief, and it was important to feel those things. Pushing them down won’t help. Once you are in them it is actually easier to get support.
When you feel low find close friends or family who won’t judge or try to fix you. I’m not someone who naturally does this to be honest. I prefer to have professionals who I don’t have to worry about hogging the space with.
As soon as COVID came, I hired someone just to talk to. I want to be heard; I don’t want advice or a solution unless I ask for it. Perhaps you are the same? If so, hire a professional, call the Samaritans, or tell the friend who you trust exactly what you need. They’ll probably relax when they realise they don’t need to fix anything.
What’s a good way to increase your confidence?
Confidence is an outcome, so you only get it by stretching yourself to do new things / things in new ways. One fun way is to make a list of things that make you nervous and excited. Rank them, do the smallest one and see your confidence grow for the next one. Warning – you’ll get faster at taking action and so your list will need to get more stretching, but never terrifying. And you only need an ounce of courage to start the process.
What advice would you give someone wanting to develop their leadership skills?
I think aspiring leaders think that when they get the title they won’t have to develop the skills anymore – this isn’t true. Nor is leadership limited to the workplace. My leadership focus is personal – it’s about how you show up and the impact you can have.
The main problem with leadership is people getting in their own way. Once they learn how to stop stopping themselves, they realise they don’t need more knowledge or courses, they need clarity and the ability to ask great questions.
What’s the best way to start your day? How do you start yours?
I don’t think anyone can answer that for anyone else. You can ask people who you admire what they do, try it for yourself and then see how it feels / works out for you.
My morning routine changes according to what I am trying to improve in my life at any one time. My wake up time and order of activities changes roughly every quarter. At the moment I am enjoying getting up and making delicious coffee, and then sitting with a book for 30 mins.
Right now I am getting up at 6am ish. I like to get a head start on me-time before my daughter rises at 7am. My night-time routine is similar – herbal tea and an audiobook.
I sometimes journal in the morning if I want to process some emotions. I find it useful to write when I am worried or confused about something. I am quick to find clarity and take action that makes me feel better by being laser focused throughout the day.
What’s the best business book you’ve read?
Well, the one that always comes to mind is The Power of Focus. It’s an oldie, but goodie.
I just finished this one today and loved it. Storytelling made easy. It’s so simple and short. I will now go to the appendices and create the stories in the book. I used to get hung up on a lack of story, but this makes it easy. See what I did there….?
What’s your ABC formula?
ABC stands for Awareness, Bravery, Contribution. Awareness – before you do anything you need to know what it’s for. So many people work hard, are busy all the time, but struggle to say what difference they make with their work. It’s soul destroying, and why people come to me!
Part one of my book on awareness is about getting clarity on your goals that exclude ego – title, salary, ladders, competition. Instead focusing on what impact you want to make and how that will feel. I then remove all the blockers that stop you showing up to make that impact
Awareness shows you what to do about falling into the busy trap, beating #impostersyndrome for good, overcoming fear of judgement etc
At the end of each Awareness chapter I ask a question that will unlock your thinking, get you out of your head and starting clearing the path to what you really want.
Bravery is about that sweet spot of nervous excitement. Most people are too scared to take action because they don’t know what it’s really for (awareness), and the steps are too big. The best stretch happens at the edge of your comfort zone, not outside it.
At the end of each chapter on bravery you get an action that will bring more confidence like I said earlier. Realising YOU CAN unlocks more awareness, and with that comes more clarity about future actions that will count. That circle never ends.
And then Contribution is really about you seeing that when you take brave action on the basis of self-generated awareness you will actually start making progress in the direction of your goals rather than feeling stuck, frustrated, and resentful.
My marketing background really comes to the fore in Contribution, part 3 of the book, when I get tactical about how to position you as the only person for the job. This applies to career as well as entrepreneurs. We are all selling ourselves to make a positive difference.
For any woman who has a successful career and wants to start a family but is scared about how to do both, what advice can you give?
I’d say don’t try to fit anyone else’s mould. You don’t need to shrink to fit what you think is expected of you. Instead, take the time to design how you want life to look. I used to be too busy to pee, and then I remembered why I wanted a family. When you are in a career change feels harder to make. But when you have a design in mind and you make decisions based on matching it, it is much easier.
My design, for example, states that I don’t work when my daughter is in the house. That means when people want to talk to me in the evening it can only happen 1 day a week when she’s not home – today! If someone wants me on a Monday it’s up to me to say I’m not available.
The challenge, however, is not in the design. It’s in the maintenance of the boundary that honours it. That just takes practice using the ABC model 🙂