The decision to be more strategic in my communication so drastically & beautifully changed my life...
That I became OBSESSED with shouting how I built this expertise from the freaking rooftops!
But the leap from saying what was expected and fitting the rules- to sharing the stage with Olympians, World leaders & Industry Leaders, empowering thousands to be more impactful through their words- even to leading my own team effectively... that leap didn’t happen overnight.
In truth it was more of a back and forth dance with plenty of average reputation moments and devastating failures I literally wasn’t sure I’d survive.
Was it worth it?
SEE FOR YOURSELF.
Fell into Recruitment & began my career in HR in my hometown of Sydney.
Gave my notice from Recruitment & stepped into the world of high volume Executive Coaching, in Melbourne. Working with clients like Fosters, ANZ, Village Roadshow, Johnson & Johnson.
I started Catherine Nolan Consulting, delivering HR & Coaching projects for global clients.
Moved back to Sydney & my babies started to arrive.
Suddenly I was up to 3 babies while delivering Coaching and HR projects largely from a home office, around the kids.
Working with leaders from businesses like Taubmans Paint, NSW Councils and Coca Cola Amatil.
2015 was a milestone year...
In March, I created social enterprise, Gender Gap Gone, to empower women & girls to close courage & pay gaps. Because I'd noticed that even with mega doses of expertise, women didn't believe in their abilities as much as they should.
I started getting tapped on the shoulder to speak at Leadership conferences...
The feedback was... a solid average. I was good.
In July came my Ballerina Sticker moment - WHERE EVERYTHING CHANGED.
Amid the after-work chaos of my gorgeous 3 at home one night, preparing for a Key Note talk to an international group of ICT Leaders in Sydney next morning, I was staring at a ballerina sticker on the kitchen floor. That tiny sticker I'd not got around to cleaning up, had come to symbolise how utterly imperfect I was, both personally & professionally.
Until then, my talks had been kind of textbook. I'd followed popular thought on great delivery for a motivational talk.
The feedback was good, it was fine.
Fine. Not 'damn fine'. No girl wants to be 'fine'!!
So in that moment- my Ballerina Sticker Moment, I decided to tear up my talk. To turn my back what was working OK - my god-given gut-feel communication & choose instead, to be strategic.
What followed was a flurry of awesomeness. The immediate feedback was loud and, like-
"OMG I just flew in this morning - & THAT was what I needed to hear!"
"From this moment, I'll be doing EVERYTHING differently"
Oh hun - so would I!!! I was about to carry this change through aaaaallll my communication.
Up until then, I'd been focusing my communication efforts on the DELIVERY. Being impressive. When I shifted to INCLUSIVE delivery, people felt truly heard.
They felt like I was speaking directly to them.
Sounds so simple, here in black and white!
But when you're feeling less-than-impressive, letting GO or the pressure to be impressive is the camel learning to walk through the eye of the needle!
Cracking that code brought a flood of relief. And a flood of big results.
What followed was a flurry of Key Note requests- in bigger & bigger rooms, with more & more epic feedback.
Audiences were inspired to take action, word got back to their teams, the bookings grew and grew.
My Exec Coaching clients started applying my strategy too, with their teams. It worked reliably, on repeat.
But still, while my professional life was taking off, my personal life started to deliver some knocks.
My own personal Gender Gap widened. I became a single mother with 3 kids under 5. Twice a homeless single mother with 3 kids under 5 in traumatic circumstances. Living in hiding for 4 years, while keeping the daily as normal as possible. I now had a domestic violence back story with lingering complex PTSD.
My personal re-build from Confidence Ground Zero, taught me to listen in a new way.
Empathy had been a strength for me, then it was a curse... now I was learning to leverage it as my superpower.
And helping others to Ieverage their superpowers - when the first step is discovering that you have superpowers at all.
Motivating people demands the holy trinity of communication:
DELIVERY, INCLUSION & IDENTITY.
Especially in the face of fear, most people only focus on the delivery - but all 3 parts are critical.
When you hit all 3, your IMPACT becomes mighty.
By the 'COVID Season' conference shutdown, I was regularly sharing the stage with Olympians, with World Leaders & Industry Leaders... empowering hundreds of other leaders at a time, to be more courageous through strategic communication.
To take action & inspire it in their teams.
My team had grown to 6 & we ran in-house events, as well as supporting Industry, Business & Community level events. The businesses we touched were in the hundreds.
By 2023, I was a 5 Time #1 bestselling author.
The latest, Courage & Confidence, was a collaboration with 23 other successful Australian Businesswomen. It was picke dup by the people who run the red carpet goody bag at the Oscar's, in 2022 AND 2023. So all Oscars nominees from those years (Dame Judy Dench, Denzel Washington, Nicole Kidman, Michelle Yeoh, Cate Blanchet, Brendan Fraser...!!!!
And my work empowering leaders and closing the Gender Pay Gap led to me receiving a number of Awards, both People's Choice and Judged Awards, in Australia and Global. Awards like Coach of the Year & Woman Changing The World.
You want now what I wanted then...
to swap out smarter for harder.
Efforts invested wisely, knowing that your words inspire action. Being able to motivate yourself & others to take the right action...
Strategic communication doesn't solve all of life's leadership challenges. But it's leverage is mighty!
Strategic communication means stronger relationships, vast time savings, greater productivity & less stress.
Take it from a recovering good girl who hoped, who took a risk... then lived the win-wins.
If you're eager to learn the strategies, the tools and the mindset shifts that will help you to be a more Impactful leader, then I'm eager to help you get there.