8 people carrying an arrow with a 9th standing on the tip pointing ahead

5 Things You Never Knew About Leadership

This is the first in a series of podcasts that I’m calling from Management to Leadership.

    1. Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.

Leadership is not dependent on whether you:

    • hold a title or position;
    • are a manager;
    • are an entrepreneur;
    • are highly intelligent and knowledgeable;
    • are a pioneer or trend setter.
  1. Your potential can never exceed your leadership ability
  2. Leadership must be built on a foundation of trust and respect
  3. Leaders must be able to connect with others.
  4. Leadership can be learnt.

If you would like to learn more about leadership or how to improve your leadership skills, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

If you would like to be added to my email list, please visit http://amandaheal.com.au and enter your name and email address in the box. As a thank you, you’ll receive a copy of a podcast I did on the things that I recommend that you do before even thinking about changing your job, and you’ll also get a checklist that you can tick off while you’re doing them.

Photo of Amanda Heal on stage

Who am I?

“Transition

I thought it was time to let you know a bit about me.

I m totally blind, and have been since birth. I was borne 14 weeks earlier than I should have been, and weight just 750 g (that’s 1 pound 9 ounces on the old scale). They didn’t know about the effects of too much oxygen on the eyes back then, and thought you could never have too much of a good thing. But as we all know, you can. The oxygen saved my life, but caused a condition called Retinopathy of Prematurity, which caused abnormal formation of blood vessels at the back of my eyes, which bled, scarred, and caused my retinas to detach.

Thanks to the determination of my parents, I was not sent interstate to a blind school, but had all my education here in the ACT. I studied Commerce and Law at the ANU, and worked for 17 years in the Public Service as a Government Lawyer.

Then, it was announced that the agency I was working for would be downsized, and we would all have to reapply for our jobs. The top 7 applicants would keep their jobs, and the rest wouldn’t. I wasn’t in the top 7, and so was offered a voluntary redundancy, which I took.

I decided to start a business selling skin care products. I had to completely reinvent myself, from being an employee, doing what i was told, to being a completely independent business owner, finding customers, selling products, keeping business records, and maintaining lasting relationships with customers. If I didn’t do the work, it didn’t get done, and I didn’t get paid.

This was a very lonely and difficult time for me. I’d been so used to being an expert, that I hated having to admit that I didn’t know what I was doing, and found it very difficult to ask for help when I needed it. I also felt, that as a blind person, I had to prove that I could do this all by myself, which was completely wrong.

That’s when I met my good friend and colleague, Wendy. She was running personal development training for skin care consultants, to help us grow our businesses. So I signed up.

Over the next year or so, I learned about leadership and personal growth, and how I had to be able to grow myself, and lead myself, before I could expect others to join my business. I learnt that personal growth didn’t just happen like physical growth does, and that I would actually have to do the work to grow. I loved the principles so much, that I started to apply them to my life, and that’s when things really started to change for me.

There was a skin care conference in Las Vegas that I wanted to go to, but no one else I knew was flying there at the time I wanted to go. So, if I wanted to go, I’d have to put all the planning in place to go on my own, which I did. I had to make sure that staff at the airports I’d be passing through were booked and ready to help me get from aircraft to aircraft, and from aircraft to hotel, and that hotel staff were able to assist me once I got there.

My guide dog, at that time, had become unwell and was no longer able to work. Rather than making the easy decision and depending on others to get me around while I waited for a new dog, I decided to make the right decision, and relearn to use a long cane, something I hadn’t done for over 25 years. I had to overcome my fear of getting lost, and learn the skills I needed to travel safely. Finally, I decided it was time to learn to catch busses on my own, and which terrified me. Now I travel all over canberra. I was taking control of my life and independence.

Wendy asked if I’d like to train to be a speaker and coach, and I jumped at the opportunity. What a contrast! I was finally using skills that I had already, rather than trying to take on a completely new set of skills as I had in my previous business. I could just be me, and do what I am good at- listening, talking, writing, and helping others. I suddenly felt that it was OK to ask for help if I needed it, and that I didn’t have to prove anything to anyone.

And how much I’ve learned! If you had told me 12 months ago that I would design and build my own website, I would have laughed at you and said “a blind person can’t do that!” Well, I’ve done it.

If you had told me 12 months ago that I’d be recording the third episode of my new podcast, I certainly wouldn’t have believed you.

And, if you had told me 12 months ago that people would actually pay me their hard earned cash to coach them and to speak to their organisations, I certainly wouldn’t have believed you!

So, why work with me? Well, I’ve survived the redundancy process, and have come out the other side, having transformed myself from disillusioned Government employee to happy business owner. Ive searched until I discovered my dream, and I’ve done what was necessary to gain the skills and the courage to follow my dream and make it a reality!

I’m a career transition coach who passionately believes that no one should be stuck in an unfulfilling job simply because they don’t know what their options are, or are too afraid to follow their dreams. Let me work with you to help you discover what you’d love to do and gain the courage to do it.

It’s easy. Just click here, to book a free 30 minute appointment on my calendar, so we can discuss your goals and needs, and decide whether we’d like to work together.

My Aim Is To Add Value To You

Leadership Development with Amanda Heal

When I started this blog, my aim was to add value to my followers. It still is.

I have my own ideas about future topics for this post, such as:

  • A series on how to increase your influence at work;
  • A series of posts on how to communicate better with colleagues, clients and stakeholders; and
  • Possibly a post or two on how to find and follow your dreams.

But I would very much like your ideas.

What would you like me to write about, that would bring value to you inside and outside the workplace? My expertise are in the areas of leadership and personal growth, and public sector employment. Please let me know in the comments section or, if you prefer, contact me directly.

How to Build Your Self-Belief

Personal Development for Career Professionals

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval”, Mark Twain.

I spoke in my last post about how comparing myself to others lowered my self-belief, and caused me to stop doing the things that I needed to do. I realised from that experience, and others, that my main weakness, and the main obstacle to my personal and business growth, is my self-belief. I have started to work hard on this, and so it is a topic that is dear to my heart.

There are many different ways to grow self-belief. It’s just a matter of finding which one, or few, work best. Different methods may work better at different times and in different circumstances.
Some methods I use to build my self-belief include:

• Reading about people who are on a similar journey to me, and who have found success;

• Listening to Ted Talks;

• Pondering on inspirational quotes;

• Reading books by, and watching videos of people who inspire me;

• Talking to my mentors;

• Spending time with positive people;

• Reciting daily affirmations;

• Reading encouraging verses from the Bible; and

• Imagining myself succeeding at the things I want to do.

I find the last 3 of these methods to be particularly powerful. I think that this is because they focus directly on my imagination, and as I said in my last post, the brain doesn’t know the difference between imagination and reality.
What do you do to improve your self-belief and thought life?

If I can help in any way, please let me know in the comments section or, if you prefer, contact me directly.