Boardrooms Without Walls & Leadership Without Walls
Experiencing the Glass Ceiling? Or held back by 'sticky floor' syndrome? Step through the door instead with these programs designed to promote women successfully into senior leadership positions.
Q: Hugh, what is your aim with these programs?
Hugh:To create a critical mass of women in leadership – there is no doubt that this is in the best interests of all of us. I believe that the current imbalance is incredibly unjust, and that it reduces the effectiveness of leadership in our companies.
Q: What is the thinking behind the design of your programs?
Hugh:One of the challenges being faced by many women is a sense of isolation in trying to move up to senior levels. The first stages will bring small, dynamic groups of women together to build an understanding of the various issues at play. We also need women’s perspective on what an ideal leader would be like, and this might not match the ‘given wisdom’ that is seen in companies at present. From this we will elicit each participant’s key strengths and build tailored, individual strategies for the future success of each person on the programs.
For those who aim to achieve Directorships we will run a corporate governance workshop and provide tailored advice on how to develop a strategy for success in the corporate environment. Expert knowledge will come from Julie Garland McLellan, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Directors (AICD) and author of the book ‘All Above Board’. We will also provide a practical workshop on raising your profile.
Q: So what happens after these group workshops? Are members left to go it alone from there?
Hugh:Only if they want to work that way! And frankly, that is unlikely. This is not the kind of issue that can be solved overnight with a wave of a magic wand. It is really desirable for the group to continue to work together to encourage, coach, & support each other in the process of achieving success. So each month we intend to have a group gathering with the aim of focusing on a relevant topic or skill, including a ‘lightning presentation’. Members will share relevant experiences, ideas and intentions. We will record each presentation so that others who join later, or who cannot attend gatherings, can catch up with what they have missed. And an online forum and newsletter for members will also help people to keep in touch and share problems, suggestions and success stories.
Q: Will members be able to get individual coaching and support?
Hugh:Certainly. While there is strength in working together as a group there will always be a need for confidential, highly focused, world class coaching or mentoring. Platinum members will have this built into their membership, while others can upgrade to this level of service as and when they need it. And we will find the best person (or combination of people) to suit the member’s requirements. So for example, a member might require time with a top notch coach, and also time with a mentor, an image consultant or another specialist advisor. And if they want it, some people might appreciate a VIP day which will be tailored to provide everything they need to makeover their strategies for success. Everything that women might need to achieve their goals will be made available, one way or another.
Q: Why is a man like yourself promoting what can be seen as a women’s problem?
Hugh:I have a lifetime’s experience in working with women, with women's issues, and with people whose true potential has been restrained in some way. I passionately believe that everyone should be able to contribute to the fullest extent possible, and that we all gain as a result. I also know that there is massive opportunity for organisations that can step out of their limited, ‘safe’ traditions and bring forward a better, more rounded and balanced way of managing. So I don’t see this as a battle that women should be fighting alone – we men have as much responsibility to make it right, and have much to gain in the process.
I would like to be one of those men who is prepared to step up and be a role model. I have been willing to be the primary parent in our family and to make career choices that support my wife in her career – including leaving my employment to go freelance and home based, and later to wind up most of my coaching business in Europe to follow her to Australia. These choices have not been sacrifices – they have helped me to achieve everything I have wanted in my life, and in many ways more than I could have imagined.
“Women in leadership” has been an issue for me since I started working on gender and diversity issues. I have known about the glass ceiling and what it takes to be a woman in a male domain. Unfortunately, when it was time for me to take a management position in Human Resources, I failed to transfer this knowledge. Hugh has helped me see that I was ready for a leadership role just the way I was and that I have all the tools available. Hugh has inspired me and coached me to a point where I am very comfortable at my place in the management team, surrounded by male colleagues who are older than me and come from a military background where women in leading roles are still the minority. I have come to know my strengths and weaknesses and how to use both to my advantage and in the spirit of my company. I can only recommend Hugh and his seminars to any woman who wants to discover the leader in herself.
PetraBENDER, MBA, Head of Personnel & Administration, NATO Airlift Management Agency - NAMA
Hugh Todd has been a coach for 32 years, including being NATO’s leadership trainer and coach in Luxembourg since 2001. Find out more about Hugh by visiting his LinkedIn profile at http://au.linkedin.com/in/hughtodd
The programs, Boardrooms Without Walls and Leadership Without Walls are due to begin in 2010. If you would like to express an interest or find out more, please contact Hugh in person by clicking on the 'Contact Us' button on the left, or by direct email at firstname.lastname@example.org