Categorized | Blog

Take some risks or take the back seat… which is your choice?

Sandy Blackburn-Wright is an inspiration.  I saw this in the first email she ever sent me, outlining very directly why it’s important – more important than ever – to be focused on diversity in our workplaces, in our thinking, in our societies.  She explained to me what she’d learned about the possibilities women bring, from decades spent in South African communities where women led change at the grass roots level, as they do in so many organisations and cultures.

After many more emails, and coffees, and having read Sandy’s book Holding Up the Sky, I see it even more.  Sandy’s book is a memoir of her time in Africa, of witnessing love and marriages, war and death, of seeing friends murdered and experiencing the tumultuous mood that swept a nation as Mandela was released from prison and led a movement of change. Sandy was there to observe Mandela’s way of ‘bringing down divisions between people by going to great efforts to point out the value in each person, each community’.  I see this trait in Sandy too, in her writing, her leadership, her speeches.

Sandy inspires me because here she was, a young Australian woman who left the safety of Northern Beaches upbringing, fresh out of uni, to follow her passions, take risks and look fear in the face because she believed she could make a difference.

I’ve been reading Sandy’s book again, looking for inspiration and motivation as I work on a new 5-year plan for my work and my life.  I’ve recommended Sandy’s book to others who are embarking on the same process, because sometimes it’s helpful to observe the extremes in order to find your own level.

For those who’ve not yet read Sandy’s book, I highly recommend it.  You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll emerge with clearer thinking, a healthy questioning for the status quo and a belief that you too can make a difference.

And if you’d like to hear Sandy speak, to be challenged to take some risks of your own and to step out of your comfort zone in order to realise your full potential – at work or in life – I invite you to join us at Ascend in May in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, where Sandy is one of six amazing women who will challenge our thinking about women and leadership and what we are all capable of.  And if you mention this blog about Sandy when you book, we’ll also give you a free copy of “Secrets of Great Success Coaches Exposed” for more inspiring ideas for realising your full potential in work and in life.

I hope I’ll see you there.


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