Julie Bishop Told Me a Funny Story About Being Too Accomodating

advice brand courage mentor Mar 14, 2022
Julie Bishop and Cath Nolan chat about holding to your authenticity in leadership

I've interviewed Julie Bishop a couple of times now. Once in person, in Canberra and once from our lounge rooms during lockdown. Actually, that one was way more fun - I think it was the whole 'yoga pants on the bottom' that made it all more relaxed. 

Although looking at both photos, I think the elastic in my yoga pants was working a lot harder than hers was, but this stage of the pandemic!!

So Julie's story :)

We were talking about adapting your style to others, and compromising authenticity. Julie told the story of when she was a young minister, being given responsibility for the Aged Care Portfolio. 

So Julie's known for her distinct sense of style, she's a style icon. 

But when she stepped into the Aged Care Portfolio, she was subject to the really common challenge of many women in male dominated sectors - ie, over mentoring. That's when men give well meaning advice, based on their own histories, rather than advocacy, or advice tailored to the individual. Especially, encouraging the individual lto be an individual!

So the well meaning Senior Ministers around Julie at the time, suggested that she was too young to be taken seriously and that she needed to "fit in" better. 

When Julie asked what that meant, she was told "cardigans" :)

So, being keen to do the job well, Julie took on the advice and invested in cardigans. She wore them for a short time in place of her usual tailored blazers. A VERY short time. It didn't work. It was such a compromise to her authenticity, she wasn't able to be herself.

Julie swiftly ditched the cardigans. 

Here's a pic of both of us, around 2019, not in cardigans :)

May you also be confident enough to ignore well-meaning but mal-aligned mentor advice. Go with your gut... Don't be ARSD® :), trust yourself.

- Cath

If you're being paid a MOTZA, love everything about your job, your personal life is everything you've ever dreamed of & your team is CRUISING with big productivity & awesome culture... THEN DON'T READ THIS.


But if you're not quite there yet, join me December 30th for a Masterclass Planning Session to make sure 2023 is your Best Year Yet.

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