What would you do tomorrow if I gave you a get out of jail free card?

Brianna Paton

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A few things I learnt from AdNews lessons in leadership conference 2018.


This week, iknowho’s own Sheryn Small joined the discussion panel at Adnews’s Lessons in Leadership conference. It was an absolute delight to hear the journeys of today’s leaders and their advice on how to be the best leader for yourself and others.


The constant theme of the conference was around bravery; bravery to ask the uncomfortable questions, to question the norm and also to question yourself.


We often find ourselves looking at our competitors and trying to better them, considering it success when we do so. Janine Garner author and mentor, partner at thought leaders and founder and CEO of LBD group says we shouldn’t be looking outward, but instead we should turn our attention inwards; be brave enough to think differently; “we all think we are being different but in reality, we are all kinda the same”. Making a commitment to bettering YOURSELF every day, is the true path to success. Are you so lost in comparing yourself to others and looking outwards at what everyone else is doing that you have lost sight of what defines success to YOU?


The first step to bravery is being honest and truthful. You don’t always have to be right but you do need to be honest with yourself, and those around you. Learn and move forward. People will connect with your vulnerability, and follow your empathy. “Connection is key” - it’s what actually drives us as human beings. Have no fear, share who you are as a person and be brave enough to show your vulnerabilities.


Get to know yourself; James Leggett CEO of M&C Saatchi describes himself as an introverted extravert. What are you? Do you gain power from being around other people, or, do you need to take time out to reflect and re-charge or is it a bit of both? If so, find that balance so that you can operate efficiently. Knowing your strengths and limitations is imperative to being able to mentor and guide others without depleting yourself.

When you know yourself, and have identified your personal and professional values, this is where you can begin building your personal brand. Sheryn Small, Lead Consultant at iknowho says “your personal brand is one of the most important factors when looking to move into a leadership role”. What do you do outside of work? How do you position yourself in the market? Do you contribute to the industry outside of your current job description? Once you have built your personal brand you need to market yourself and the followers will come because they buy into your beliefs and values. Again, human connection is key.


No matter how senior you become in your chosen field there is always room for self-reflection and a quick check on if you are adhering to your own values and standards, in both your professional and personal life.