by | Aug 9, 2016 | Confidence, Podcast | 0 comments

CB007 - Live Interview With Maggie Georgopoulos Chairman Of The Board At 32

I’ve just finished up a great interview with Maggie Georgopoulos, chairman of the board  in a male dominated industry at age 32, author of the upcoming title “Up The Ladder In A Skirt” and a women’s champion who has directly impacted the career choices and progress of over 10,000 women in over 32 countries around the world.

In this special extended edition podcast you can hear some great things she had to say about confidence, authenticity, diversity, building leadership teams and more.

And, she made a special offer to all listeners, free access to her online course that will help you climb the rungs of the corporate ladder.  Grab access now and reserve a copy of her great new book at www.UpTheLadderInASkirt.com

Go grab your headphones and listen now - enjoy! (And don’t forget to download the transcript for future reference - the link’s below)

Or:

Click To Read Show Transcript Now

CBOO7 - Extended Edition | Interview With Maggie Georgopoulus

Stuart:
Okay, Welcome everybody to another exciting episode of Confidence Bytes. My name’s stuart and today I’m honoured to be joined by Maggie Georgopoulos.
Maggie, hello, welcome, thank you for being here and before you say anything else, please don’t crucify me if I made a mistake with the pronunciation of your name.

Maggie:
No, you actually got it right and I’m, you know, feeling really honoured to actually be a part of this so thank you very much for talking to me.

Stuart:
So, I can see in the background you’ve got some rain on the windows and your voice, your voice is from Australia. (both laugh) So where are you now?

Maggie:
I’m sitting in my flat in Glasgow, erm, you know, as my accent dictates I’m originally from Melbourne, Australia but - erm - I’m here with my partner, Tom, who’s originally from the Highlands and, yeah, unfortunately for us Glasgow’s decided to put on it’s finest rainy weather.
Erm, it’s a bit of a shame because it’s been very sunny for the last couple of months so...

Stuart:
Well, it keeps it green doesn’t is?

Maggie:
Yep, Oh yeah. And it keeps it clean and beautiful.

Stuart:
Yeah. OK, let me just read out your Bio because you have quite an interesting Bio - erm - it’s actually on the computer so I can see it on the screen - I’m clever (laughs) so:
Maggie is the Leading Global authority on career development for women in male dominated industries and author of the upcoming book, Up the Ladder in a Skirt, which is hailed as the book for women in challenging roles globally.
A mechanical engineer who climbed to the top of the leadership ladder by age 32, Maggie was the executive chairman of a large agricultural company, responsible for the 75% increase in the retention of staff through career development pathways.
Maggie is a sought after consultant in oil and gas, agriculture, manufacturing and automotive industries.
Having achieved goals such as being the youngest member of the plastics pioneers education initiative which went into companies such as Monsanto and Nylex. She has directly imperacted... sorry, directly impacted the career choices and progress of over 10,000 women in over 32 countries around the world.
With a deep commitment to diversity and well-being she is an ambassador for sustainable career development for women the world over.
And that’s pretty impressive that is, it’s pretty impressive. So well done, congratulations for that.

Maggie:
(Laughs) Thank you.
Sometimes it’s difficult to go “That’s not me!” (Both laugh)

Stuart:
Well, it’s on paper, it’s on video so it may well be...

Maggie:
It’s me yes, it’s me.

Stuart:
So, you know, you’ve got this interesting book, the title’s very catchy. When will we be able to pick the book up?

Maggie:
Urm, according to my publisher it’ll be printed at the start of November which I’m really, really excited about.
And between now and then you’ll be able to get a downloadable version of it - umm - on my website.

Stuart:
Okay.

Maggie:
You can pre-purchase it and the Kindle edition of it should be coming out between now and November as well.

Stuart:
Okay, it’s going to be coming soon.

Maggie:
Yup.

Stuart:
I’m really looking forward to that it sounds like an interesting book, you know, the title’s very catchy.

Maggie:
I’m really looking forward to it as well. It’s been a... an interesting journey for me writing the book, let alone it coming out so I suppose with all the effort and all the hurdles that I’ve had to go through and all the blocks I’ve had to deal with in order to get it out I really want to see it in print as well just to say “YES! I did do it!”

(Both laugh)

Stuart:
You did do it.
Well, I mean, I’m sure you’re going to feel even more excited when it comes out and as I say you’ve had a wonderful career - erm, you know, you started off in the corporate world and now you work for yourself.
What made you switch, you know, because it’s quite a big change isn’t it?

Maggie:
Yeah, And, and it’s not really as simple as a, just a decision to switch because in all honesty if it fit my lifestyle I’d probably still work in corporate which I suppose is part of the reason my passion is to work with businesses and corporates in order to help them retain their female talent.
Ummm, but I got to the position of executive chairman of the board at a large agricultural company in Australia which you read out in my Bio, and I took 12months off in order to lead up a large not for profit which is called Junior Chamber International. It’s in over a hundred different countries around the world.
And as part of that I travelled around Australia and around the world, I went into communities helped, you know, young people in their twenties and thirties to organise projects to help grow communities, to help sustain communities. I got to - um - see communities in countries like Bangladesh - umm - where, you know, they were working with, you know, poorer communities, to help them step out of poverty to help empower young girls and women to further their education.
And when I came time to the point it was time to go back to being in my corporate role I found it really difficult to step back in.
Oooops - a technical issue stopped the recording so we had to switch to a back up method.

Stuart:
I don’t know what happened.

Maggie:
Okay.
So where do you want me to start from? (Laugh)

Stuart:
Errrmmm...
Start from... you know, you were filling the resume in I think would be better.

Maggie:
Yes, Yeah OK...
So, you know, I got to the stage where I had to put my CV together and I was really struggling with it and I realised that it wasn’t... what, what had happened is, even though I was extremely successful at what I did, you know, I was executive chairman of the board, all male board, I won a scholarship to the Australian company directors course, I sat on a government advisory committee and two other advisory boards but it wasn’t my success.

Stuart:
Um hum.

Maggie:
I’d done what everyone had said, you know, this is what you should do, you know, when you’re at school and they go “Oh, you’re really good at that, you should do ‘this’.”
So I just did it. And I did really well at it so I continued doing it and I continued to do really well at... but what I realised having taken a year off and working in communities and, and working with projects to help empower people and in particular empower young people and empower women and girls, I realised that what I really wanted to do wasn’t what I was doing so I decided to basically throw it all in and I sold up my house and hopped on an aeroplane.
And initially what I did is for about the first twelve months I travelled, I volunteered in various places while I was travelling, I also just visited places. I did things like hike the Inca trail, you know, just the sort of stuff you go out and do - it’s good. (laughter)
And then, I kind of thought about what I could do, so I wanted to continue travelling and I wanted to keep working in communities that had access - didn’t have access to the sort of things we have access to in Australia and the UK so I started picking up short term contracts.
So I had the business shell - umm - sitting there so I decided to use it. So I’d do contracts either in teaching or in human resources or err, you know, contract building process - ummm - process line specialisation, you know, things that I had my qualifications and experience in.
And in between those I would do things like, I would volunteer in orphanages in South Korea or in Africa. I worked with, you know, women in communities in Tanzania to help build up micro businesses.
And I just travelled around and did those sort of things and I did that for most of the last eleven years.

Stuart:
Okay.

Maggie:
So I kind of flipped short term contracts with volunteering and then I met my partner. (laugh) And...

Stuart:
So how did you find the courage to do all these things on your own, I mean, that’s...

Maggie:
It’s a funny thing because people talk about it being courage and to me it was just something that, you know, seemed really exciting so why not?
And, it’s a modern world, we’ve got the access to it. It’s hopping on an aeroplane and, and, you know, just heading off somewhere. And I didn’t see myself as being on my own, I, you know, felt that whenever I arrived somewhere I usually landed into a community or something, you know, of people that I could work with.
One of the other advantages I had in many places, not all of them, in some of the more obscure places the contacts weren’t there, but because I’d been involved with JCI, and as I said, they’re in over a hundred and six countries around the world, I had contacts in most countries when I landed so even if I hadn’t met the people there was somebody there I could...

Stuart:
...you could talk to, yes.

Maggie:
I’d send an email and say ‘Hey, I’m arriving in Dar Es Salaam. Could you show me around? It’d be nice to get, you know, the local side of things before I head off, you know...’

Stuart:
But even, even though you say you don’t see it as courage, it is a quite courageous thing and it does take a lot of confidence to trust that these people are going to be there for you...
I mean, I can remember when I first came to China, it’s a similar situation. I was met at the airport at Guangzhou by a guy I’d never seen before who’s got my ticket to my final destination...

(Maggie giggles, yes)

Stuart:
There’s this guy there, he can’t speak a word of English, he’s got a little sign saying “Mr Elliott” so I said “Yes, that’s me.” and he said: “Come, come, come...” and off we go, you know.
And you just trust, and you just believe it’s going to happen and it does...

Maggie:
Yeah, yes, and I suppose there is a level of confidence in it because - umm - I just believed and trusted implicitly that it’d be ok. And that’s not to say it’s been perfect, I’ve had my moments in my travels where it’s been an absolute disaster and I’ve just sat there and gone “What am I doing?”
But...

Stuart
(Laughs)

But that’s part of the job isn’t it?

Maggie:
But, at the end of the day, all of the great things that have come out of what I’ve done have been worth doing it which is, I think, where I get the confidence to just step off and go ‘Do you know what? It’ll be OK.’

Stuart:
Yeah, I think it’s that belief that it will be OK that makes the difference doesn’t it?

Maggie:
Yes

Stuart:
Because you’re not thinking of the negative things, you’re thinking of “Okay, it’s going to work...somehow I’ll find a way for it to work.”

Maggie:
Well, and to me it’s much better to focus on the positive things. I mean, I have my moments, I’m human...

Stuart:
We all do yeah.

Maggie:
And I sit there and I’ll go “Oh my god, I could’ve been... you know, xyz, if I hadn’t have gone and done...”
And, by the same token I wouldn’t have the experiences that I have. I wouldn’t be the person that I am and I wouldn’t be where I am right now so I wouldn’t undo any of what I’ve done but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my moments where I go “phewww...”

Stuart:
No, I mean, I mean, I’m in the same situation, I lived in Africa for eighteen years and now I’m in China I’ve been for thirteen years, it’s not every day perfect, there’s many things that crop up but it helps you to grow and you know, to be honest with you...
If you’d have stayed back where you were you’d have had your moments as well.

Maggie:
Yes

Stuart:
It doesn’t matter where you are does it? The moments will come, it’s how you feel about yourself and are able to just handle whatever comes at you or have the belief that you can handle it that’s the important thing.

Maggie:
Yeah.
I mean, I had those moments when I was working in my career in Australia. I, I would wake up some mornings and go “I can’t believe I’m actually, you know, an executive chairman of the board, I mean, you know, I’m a kid... Well, I suppose at 32 you are and you aren’t but you know what, in a lot of ways I still was you know, I was still relatively wet behind the ears.
And there were days when I was doing the plastic pioneers stuff where I really was like “How have I managed to get here?” You know, here I am a little thirty something year old woman in a team of men and most of them are like in their fifties and sixties, they’ve got thirty, forty years experience within these industries and there’s me.
So there are days where you sit there and go, you know, “How did I get here? And who am I to be here?” But at the end of the day...

Stuart:
You have to pinch yourself to see if it’s real... laughs

Maggie: Yeah, yeah.
At the end of the day to me, you know, the confidence comes from the belief that: “Do you know what? It’s OK. If I wasn’t supposed to be here I wouldn’t be here.” So I make the most of being here and see where it goes.

Stuart:
So what advice would you give to women who, you know, maybe they’re feeling that they’re lost in their life, that their job’s taking up too much of their time, it’s not giving them the satisfaction that they expected it to. Ummm, what advice would you give to them?

Maggie:
The first advice I’d always give is to go straight to... back to basics, you know, “Who are you?”
And when I say ‘Who are you?’ it’s not, you know, “Hi, I’m Maggie, I’m a female, I’m abou... approximately five foot ten...” you know, all that sort of stuff, no. It’s like: “Who are you deep down inside.” you know, “Start to think about the things that make you happy,” you know, “Why do these things make you happy?”, “What can you do in order to, to have this as the key part of your life?”
I look at it from the perspective of what was going on when I was trying to decide what to do all those years ago. What I realised is I am very good at leadership stuff but what wasn’t making me happy was being in a corporate, you know, banging my head against the wall in different places, effectively, and not really helping others. I realised that, that what really made me happy was being able to go out there and make a difference.

Stuart:
Um humm.

Maggie:
So I focussed on that and looked for what I could do in order to make that happen. And it’s the same, you know, with careers because, quite often your career might make you happy, it’s just the workplace you’re in that might be wrong. Or the workplace might be great but the career choice you’ve suddenly made may not be right.
Which means that it might be a question of seeing whether or not you can talk to your company about changing your path within the company or you’re looking at potentially stepping out and doing something else...

Stuart:
That reminds me of a philosophy of Sir Richard Branson, you know from Virgin he... before he, he... if he has a problem with any staff member the first thing he decides is “Are they in the right position for their skill-set?”
And it could be that their, you know, they’ve got this wonderful skill-set but it’s not being utilised and you put them in a different position and ‘whoomph’, everything comes to, you know, to light again.
So I think that’s a wonderful thing to actually do.

Maggie:
No, it is. And it’s a critical error that we make across the board, whether it’s, you know, volunteer organisations, businesses... quite often in our day to day life we spend so much time trying to conform to an ideal that somebody else has given us that we often forget that each individual person’s different and it’s OK to be different and it’s OK to play to your strengths.
You know, at times... not wanting to go down the path of bashing the education system, but one of the fundamental issues that I have with the education system is that we don’t allow children to move into their strengths. We spend so much time focussing on what they don’t do well, and so little time focussing on what they do well that when we become adults our mindset’s such that it’s all about what we’re doing wrong instead of what we do well.

Stuart:
Yes, it’s focussed on the negative, isn’t it?
You know, and that brings back the memories of, you get your exercise book back. It’s got all these red lines in it. It’s got all these red crosses in it... There’s nothing good.
And you look at it and you put so much effort into it and you feel down because, you know, it didn’t work.

Maggie:
Yeah.

Stuart:
And this is the attitude we take into adult life, always looking on negatives. I mean, I always say to people “Can you tell me a hundred good things about yourself?” Ten... maybe fifteen... maybe twenty... but that’s about it, that’s finished.
If I ask them for a hundred bad things... Oh, no problem, de, de, de, de, de, they just roll off the tongue like anything...

(Both laugh)

Maggie:
We’re awfully good at figuring out what we don’t do well. (Laugh)

Stuart:
And this is instilled in us in the education at a young age and that’s really a terrible thing in many ways isn’t it?

Maggie:
Yeah. And it’s not just from that, you know, we get the message from our parents, from our peers, from everything, you know, it comes from, you know, the way people are rewarded so, you know, you know, you’ve got kids that are rewarded for being really, really active and sporty and then you’ve got other kids who may be academic and they’re not necessarily getting rewarded in the same way.
So once again they’re getting this, this picture...

Stuart:
Or they’re getting laughed at.

Maggie:
...not meaning the right thing.
Fortunately that has changed a lot these days, it’s not quite so black and white as it was back...

Stuart:
No, but it’s still got a way to go...

Maggie:
And it’s just building that up and it’s trying to shift that mindset as adults because getting to adulthood, once again we focus on our weaknesses: “I need to improve my management.” or “I need to improve - umm - the way I communicate with people.”...
What I actually need to do is own the fact that I communicate with people in a certain way because that’s my personality or my time management is a certain way because that’s my personality and get myself to be a part of a team where I can play to my strengths and somebody else as part of that team will help, you know, keep the other things in line because their strength is time management or their strength is communication.
So it’s a matter of building that team and working. And if you can get yourself into that and learn how to communicate in your language so that other people can then, you know, hear and understand what it is your saying, we tend to do so much better and we tend to feel so much more confident within ourselves.

Stuart:
Yeah, and, and the key word there is the strengths isn’t it? Because most people don’t focus on strengths, they focus on weaknesses... as, you know, we’ve just spoken about, you know, that’s a really bad thing.
And, you know, there’s always room for improvement it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, there are some things that we’re not suited to do. For instance, I’m very good at starting things - but I’m not a very good finisher...

Maggie:
Ahh, I can relate to that...

Stuart:
So I need to get someone to help me, you know, to finish. I can get the ideas, I can get the projects moving but bringing them to completion, I get bored.

Maggie:
Yes...

Stuart:
So I need help there...

Maggie:
And that comes back to that personality thing. And I mean, if you want to use a really good example on that, Richard Branson who you spoke about earlier is a prime example of that sort of person, and depending on which type of personality thing or whatever you want to use - um - Roger Hamilton talks about Dynamo and Richard Branson is one.
He’s a starter, he’s an ideas man, he’s the sort of person that builds great teams around him in order to make things happen then moves on to the next idea because he’s never going to complete it.

Stuart:
No, he’s got the skills to build the team hasn’t he?

Maggie:
Yeah, but look at what Richard Branson has. There is not a person in the world that will say that that man is a failure. Yet if he had stayed in a box that said he had to complete every project that he started he would be a failure.

Stuart:
Yeah.

Maggie:
Right. So that in itself is, I think is a very good example of how it works. You wouldn’t put Branson & Warren Buffet... they’re two very different personalities yet both extremely successful men, And the same, look at women, look at Hilary Clinton versus Michelle Obama, they’re both extremely strong women, both extremely powerful, both have very different personalities and ways of going around and doing things but it doesn’t make either one any less successful than the other.

Stuart:
No.
No, no, and again it’s that understanding your strengths and recognising and getting the help you need to bolster the parts you’re not so good at. I won’t use the word weaknesses because I don’t see them as weaknesses...

Maggie:
Right...

Stuart:
It’s just not suited to you.

Maggie:
And it’s much better to play to our strengths.

Stuart:
It is.

Maggie:
You end up feeling much more satisfied and you, you gain that confidence that then helps you move forward, you know. And I suppose that comes back to my mum’s description of me as a ledge jumper. I’ll step off a ledge and trust that I’m going to land safely. Part of that comes from the fact that, you know, when I’ve played to my strengths things have worked and that’s the way I’ve...

Stuart
And when it works it gives you confidence to carry on and to do something more, to do something...

Maggie:
Start again (laughs)

Stuart:
And if you look back on success then that builds confidence doesn’t it? Because, you know, if you look back on, on failure you say “Well I’m no use.” but if you look back on success, and it doesn’t matter how big the success is... it can be a small success, it could be that you set your alarm to get up at five o’clock tis morning because you had something to do and you got up and you did it.
That’s a success... and the more you focus on that the more you become, you become stronger and become more inclined to do that. It’s a wonderful philosophy.

Maggie:
Right - I, I like it. I live by it. Both laugh.

Stuart:
I have another question which I wrote down here - erm - it’s quite an interesting question.
What would you say, because you told me you were in a mastermind group, and some of the members were saying to you: “You need to become more feminine” or become something along those lines.
What would you say to people, you know, who think that women have to be all soft and fluffy, and I’m not saying this in a derogatory way...

Maggie:
No.

Stuart:
Because, as you mentioned there are different personalities, you know, it’s about owning yourself, it’s about being authentic isn’t it?
Maggie:
Yup.
Erm - What I would say to that is you need to understand that all of us have masculine and feminine in us and particularly, you know, if you look at the Eastern philosophies, the Yin and Yang... now some of us tend to, the majority of females have an outward appearance of what is feminine qualities but some of us have an outward appearance of what is very masculine qualities.
And if you look into things like your Myers Briggs and the personalities on that, 75% of females have the ‘feeling logic’ which means that they look at things from the perspective of logic based in people and things that affect people, right. And that doesn’t mean that they’re ‘touchy, feely, cuddly’ it just means that they look at their logic that way.
Only 25% of women have the ‘thinking logic’ which tends to be associated more with men, and that’s that looking at things more from the perspective of logic based in things.
So for example, if I was to look at the breakdown of something in a business, that was going to affect the overall run of the business and the people I would often forget to think about the people because I would look at it in logic terms of cash flow in the business and how that all works. And I would often come across as being very masculine in my approach because I can be quite abrupt in what say.
I can often forget about how people might feel and that’s not to say that I don’t think about that anymore because I’ve stepped out and done a lot more community based stuff I now think that way a little bit more but it’s not my natural preference.
So if I’m under pressure or stress I will default to, you know, that people are just part of the resources, their feelings aren’t important.

Stuart:
Yeah.

Maggie:
And it seems a very masculine feeling and I’ve had people at stages, might say, you know, “You’re just one of the boys.” and “You behave like a bloke.” or stuff like that and it’s like, I’m not stepping into a masculine energy in order to be like the men, I’m stepping into my energy and it just happens to have a slightly stronger element of masculine in it as society sees it and what is considered to be the norm for a female.
Having said that, I always wear dresses because that’s something that I like so I always have an outward appearance of being very feminine. But it is actually quite difficult because when you look at, you know, the female role models that are out there, so you look at the way they constantly look at us and go: “Oh my god, look at what she’s wearing.” or “Oh, no, she’s being really masculine she needs to be softer and more feminine.”
You know what? Some women just aren’t soft and fluffy and that’s just the nature of the beast, and there are some men out there that are extremely soft and fluffy. I mean, I would never at any stage say that my partner is not 100% man but in all honesty he has more of the feminine outward appearances than I do, you know, so, and that’s just, you know, because of natural preferences. It’s got nothing to do with our gender it’s to do with what happens up here. (points to head)

Stuart:
Yeah, and, and quite often as people because of society and because of many things we don’t take the time to look past the appearance...

Maggie:
No.

Stuart:
And that becomes a big problem. You look at somebody who’s in a suit, you think ‘this’, you don’t see past it... this could be the biggest crook in the world but because he’s got a suit on you get that impression that he’s honest and trustworthy straight away.

Maggie:
No he’s not (laughs)

Stuart:
Well, generally, generally speaking...

Maggie:
Yeah. No, it is, it does come down to that. We have stereotypically put, you know, women into these roles of, you know, you’re the carer, you’re the more caring and, to be honest, women as a collective do tend to lead differently than men do. They tend to use a far more collaborative style and once again, because of the stereotypes around leadership we suddenly see that as not being a strength, we see that as being a... you know, you know, that naughty word, a, a weakness.
And it’s not. It is a different style of leading and there are men out there that do the collaborative really well and there are women out there that do the competitive really well.
What we need to do is try to open up our minds to the fact that it’s not just about the gender its about our personality types, our preferences how we prefer to do things and we need to open up businesses and community organisations and things so that they are more diverse in the types of personalities you’ve got on your boards or running your organisations.
And that can still mean an all female or an all male management team or senior leadership team but you want diversity in that team, you want people that have each of the elements that help balance it out and make it work even better.

Stuart:
So, do, do you think when people just talk about diversity their, their thinking is more about more women, more women, or equal gender - not gender, race and everything else. Do you think it should be more about a diversity of personalities so we’ve got the balance of personalities rather than the stereotypes?

Maggie:
Yep.
I honestly believe it needs to be more about personalities and it’s an interesting thing I come up against because quite often when I’m talking to, in particular, senior males within business and I start talking about diversity their backs kind of go up and they’re like that, “Oh whoa here comes this ‘more women on boards’ thing, blah, blah, blah.” and I’m like ‘Stop!’
Yes, I would like to see more women on boards.
And I would like to see more women on boards because I believe that there are so many women out there that can do so much to help and they’re not being...

Stuart:
I agree, yes.

Maggie:
However, when I’m talking about diversity on boards I’m talking about a diversity of personalities. And I think it’s something we need to look at. Yes, within that you will end up with that mix of women, and races, and cultures and all the rest of it and that will grow it even further.
Because, you know, where we grow up and the influences, the social influences we have on us affect our personalities as well. But having that more diverse personality make up within the actual leadership team will make a huge difference to how the organisation is run because, for starters you’ll open up the lines of communication better because each personality types communicate differently.
And quite often, you know, I might be sitting there as someone who is quite extroverted and bubbly and bouncy and an idea will fire out and I’ll just throw it at someone and I’ll bounce off and I expect them to be behind me and then realise that I’ve actually left them still sitting in their seats while I’ve run off type thing.
My communication style’s very different to somebody who’s far more deliberate about what they do, who likes to see every step and when I fire a piece of information out and bounce off they don’t necessarily understand what I’ve just said because I haven’t spoken their language.
What I need to do is fire the piece of information off, stop, ask the question “What do you need to know in order to make this happen?” okay. They can ask the questions about the steps that they need and rather than getting frustrated that ‘Oh my god, they don’t see it already, why can’t they see it?’ I need to understand that not everybody can just see the big picture like I do. Some people need to have it coloured-in in order to see what it looks like.

Stuart:
Yeah. I mean, and that understanding is very important because we all think in different ways don’t we? And this has got nothing to do with gender or race or anything, it’s just the way we are as people.

Maggie:
Yes.

Stuart”
And similarly with language, some people can think in pictures, some people need to think in sounds and some people need to think in feelings, there’s so many different ways we do that and we have to understand that when we’re communicating with people...

Maggie:
Yep.

Stuart:
And that’s where I think is where the diversity should be focussed on and not... I mean, when I lived in South Africa, just after Nelson Mandela came to power there was this big thing on women and race and they were promoting people left, right and centre and half the people had no skills to put where they were put. They were totally out of their depth, but because they fit the picture of diversity that was needed they were being, really, put under unfair pressure and not every one of them reacted very well to it and that is wrong.
I think there needs to be a much wider - erm - deeper understanding of what diversity means.

Maggie:
Yes, and we really need to get a balance in it because it is something that’s going to take time and there will be times when we appear that we’re being unfair because, on the surface it’ll appear that the board or team or whatever that’s been put together is not very diverse because they will coincidentally be all white females or all white males or all whatever, but that’s not what it’s about. It’ll be that there is this really good rounding of personalities so that they can actually work together from, you know, the big picture all the way through to the finest detail which means that the project can get started and finished, not just started and then kind of stressfully dragged across the finished line because the person who starts it is not the sort of person that finishes it. I mean without someone...

Stuart:
It often doesn’t, that’s why I’m laughing because it does happen so often.

Maggie:
Oh, yeah.
It’s because we tend to fill teams with people that are like us and I’m not saying as in gender or race or culture, I’m talking personality. Without even thinking about it, when we’re talking to people and we have people who’re, who have the same sort of preferences we do we suddenly feel more comfortable with them, we feel like we’re speaking the same language, we feel like they ‘get us’ and we want to work with that.
And what we fail to understand is, yes, it’ll be great to work with that but if I‘ve got a complete team of me’s - Oh god that’ll be a disaster! (laughs)

Stuart:
It’s limiting, very limiting isn’t it?

Maggie:
Yeah.

Stuart:
Because there’s nobody thinking outside of your, er, tunnel for want of a better word, you know, so we need that to be explored.
I’m just looking at the time here, we are getting a little late in the day but you’ve been giving us some great information so I don’t mind running a few seconds longer but I just want to make sure that, you know, you said you had an offer - erm - something to give to the listeners and to the viewers, I wanted to give you time to be able to mention that, you know.

Maggie:
Yep.
I have an online course that fits to my book ‘Up The Ladder In A Skirt’ and basically it looks at the initial rung of developing leadership and building your own success. Effectively it’s a six module course but you can do it in your own time and it will be going live online within the next month so people can sign up for it and I’ll give them links then you can actually do it in your own time.
It takes you through some modules and exercises which take you through the basic rung. Some of it is understanding yourself, understanding your personality type, understanding how you communicate and work in a teams, you know, making sure that you’re looking after your own health and well-being and looking after your mental health they’re the basic, five basic rungs, and then looking at the start of that sixth platform which is stepping into leadership and what that actually looks like.

Stuart:
OK
And could you just mention how they can sign up and I’ll put the show notes out, I’ll write it down in there with a link for the people.

Maggie:
I have a link on my website which is www.UpTheLadderInASkirt.com and I’ll actually send that through to you so that you can put that up for people to see as well. And if you just go through that...

Stuart:
What is the link called?

Maggie:
Pardon, UpTheLadderInASkirt.com

Stuart:
That’s the website: UpTheLadderInASkirt.com and the link on it, you said, what’s the link?

Maggie:
It’ll land you on the links to sign up for the course.

Stuart:
Okay, so it’s very straightforward, people just go to UpTheLadderInASkirt.com hit the link, then fill in their details then they’ve got the full free course.
You know, I like the way course starts because if you don’t start to know yourself and you don’t understand yourself how can you ever expect to understand anybody else, you know, it’s a very valid point. And then the other point of the course I like is looking after yourself.
Because you’re the number one person, if you don’t look after yourself how can you perform, how can you look after other people.

Maggie:
Yeah, yes, and I think it’s extremely important and I’ve unfortunately learned the hard way... (laughs)

Stuart:
I think a lot of us learn the hard way sometimes...

Maggie: Yeah.
So I would like to help others not necessarily go thorough the same thing as I did in order to get there.

Stuart:
Ja, and, and, I think you have been a great help, I think your, your wide view of the world, you knowledge and your commitment to helping others, especially women understand themselves and their position, you know, that they don’t have to be - erm - living a different world from themselves - I was just trying to think of the words there - if they’re authentic they can be themselves and they can understand, you know, how to work with other people and to get the respect it’s going to be much better for themselves, but everybody else as well.

Maggie:
Yeah. I agree with that.

Stuart:
So I think that’s really a wonderful thing. I’m so glad that we, we came across each other because you’ve got so much more... we don’t have time to go on now, we could speak for hours and hours. it’s wonderful having you.

Maggie:
No, it’s been great speaking with you and thank you very much again for the opportunity it’s been awesome.

Stuart:
Do you have a closing thought to pass on to the listeners and viewers?

Maggie:
Ummm, I think, at the end of the day it is really, really important to be yourself. Because you are going to be your most successful as yourself and that includes, you know, it’s often difficult, but it includes being able to be honest about who you are and what that involves, whether that involves a mental health issue, the fact that you prefer to walk up to everyone and give them a big hug or the fact that you prefer to stand your distance from people. As long as you own that and step into it you’re on the step of being successful.

Stuart:
Yeah, and that, that authenticity, there’s a lot of words like diversity and authenticity that are becoming buzzwords around the industries but they’re not being taken at the real value, the real meaning and...

Maggie:
Yeah, and the real value is, it’s all about you. You can’t be anyone else but yourself.

Stuart:
No.
You were designed by... (looks toward the heavens) whoever (both laugh) so why should you try and be somebody else?

Maggie:
So, at the end of the day, you’re you and you’re wonderful and what you have to contribute is just as valuable as what the next person does.

Stuart:
Ja.
And your contribution might be in a different angle or a different way but it’s still your contribution and we need that! We need your contribution so...
Thank you once again Maggie, it’s been a wonderful, you know, I don’t know, forty, forty minutes, half an hour or so... maybe one day very soon we could make a second part if you would like that.

Maggie:
No, that would be fabulous, yeah, yeah, be careful inviting me to speak. I can speak for hours.

(Both laugh)

Stuart:
Well, you are a speaker.
So once again, if you want to hear more on it, you know, to, to reaserve a copy of the book it’s UpTheLadderInASkirt.com

Maggie:
Yep, Okay.

Stuart:
Get you course and they can enjoy reading about this book, you know, this book, this book sounds so wonderful.
OK.
Thank you very much Maggie, let me just stop the recording.

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