25 January 2022
With our first She Leads Workshop for 2022 just around the corner, we caught up facilitator Angie Ford, to talk about all things leadership, what people can expect to take away from her online workshop and mistakes that made her a better leader.
Angie is a mindset trainer and high-performance coach driven by a love of working with people. She is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach® via the Coaches Training Institute with almost 4000 hours coaching. Her client list includes world no.1 athletes, CEOs, entrepreneurs of the year, national bestselling real estate agents, and AACTA award nominated actors.
What can people expect to take away from your workshop, Overcoming self-doubt and cultivating courage in leadership?
What’s one thing you would say to women and non-binary people who are trying to start their leadership journey but don’t know where to start?
Train with a reputable and supportive organisation to build your confidence. Work with coaches and mentors who inspire you and who are good at what they do. Invest in yourself.
Pay attention to the people who influence you. Ask yourself why? What are they choosing that gives them influence over you? Learn what guides their thinking and how they make decisions from the inside. Pay attention to the reality and humanity of leadership. Life is such a mix – joy, challenge, success, tragedy, weirdness, sameness, change. It´s a full gamut, and anyone who tries to oversimplify it or tell you the “One Right Way” to lead, is not paying attention. Keep a learner’s mind, no matter how many years into your leadership you are.
Pause and pay attention – this will give you the advantage in any room, because most people are generally reactive and don´t do this. Paying attention, also helps you stay calmer, and more present with what´s going on. It helps you to become aware of how you are relating to what´s happening and what you want to do, say or ask next.
Who is one person that you admire for their leadership skills and why?
I admire Mehreen Faruqi for her leadership because of the ways she is so strongly guided by her values in her decision making. She is a visionary and down to earth. Her commitment to the environment, animals, and kindness but without being a push over or tolerating bullsh*t or bullying inspires me. I also appreciate her candour in the realities of playing a long game when others can be directly unkind. To dig deep and stay the course even when the rug is pulled out at the last minute and you feel like everything you´ve worked for needs to start all over again. I recommend her book Too Migrant, Too Muslim, Too Loud.
What would you like to see change in the next 3-5 years in the leadership space?
Listening, decisiveness and accountability – a willingness to own your actions and words as well as an ability to say sorry or admit when you are wrong.
When I came back from living overseas for almost a decade, I tuned into Question Time on ABC News radio. I was appalled at how normalised it has become at the highest level of parliament to speak over the top of other people and not actually listen to what they are saying. To drown them out so they aren´t heard properly by others. It´s not ok. It sounded like an immature schoolyard feud. It´s appalling and disrespectful, and I´m shocked at how normalised bad listening has become at top levels.
I would like to see more visionary leaders who are confident to pause, listen, and reflect as well as speak directly and honestly about issues at hand. Leaders who can take a longer view on the environmental issues we face. Rather than seeing leaders who need to create polarising narratives based on fear to hold power, I want to see leaders who genuinely care, and who feel confident in their voice, actions and ability to create relationships and rapport with different groups of people.
What’s a mistake or failure that you have made but in hindsight made you a better leader?
There have been many moments in the past I have sensed something is up with a group I´m leading, but I didn´t listen to that gut instinct and tackle it immediately. This has taught me (more times than I´d like to admit!) that it´s better to check in straight away. Checking in promptly sends a strong signal to your team that you value active communication and are not willing to settle for unresolved niggles in a relationship. It clarifies misunderstandings and expectations early, making the relationship space healthier for everyone.
Being able to fail publicly rather than try to get it right is something I deliberately train myself in. Daily. It´s something I love helping my clients do too. I come from a long line of people pleasers in my family, and it´s something I´ve worked hard to understand and move through. It´s not always easy, to fail in public, but it´s an incredibly valuable skill. It´s one way you take your power back. When I´m not afraid of looking dumb in front of others, I´m freer to speak and act from my truth with more calm and self-trust. This matters to me.
Learn more from Angie Ford by registering to her online workshop Overcoming self-doubt and cultivating courage in leadership, Wednesday 9 February, from 6 to 8pm. Book your ticket today!