Could you give us a brief background into your career before starting Leadership Styled?
My plan was to be a Forensic Pathologist – I was obsessed with Quincy and Diagnosis Murder and so I studied Medical Biochemistry. That changed and my career started in Marks & Spencer and then laterally, Mars and Mattel. My last proper job was selling Barbie dolls! I was Business Development Manager at Mattel and, as such, the favourite Auntie – Barbies, Hot Wheels, Fisher Price and Harry Potter make you a very popular girl. 12 years ago I started my own business which has morphed into the coaching and leadership consultancy: Leadership Styled is the latest reincarnation of that business.
What has been your biggest milestone since starting your own company?
I struggled to answer that question because there are so many great stories associated with LS so far. Finding Rachel – my Exec assistant – has been monumental as she is so aligned with what we do, creative and a total asset to the business.
Finding our office and decorating it in the way that fits with our brand was pivotal, and the space seemed to open up many opportunities.
Could you tell us a bit more about what you do at Leadership Styled?
Every day is different. I am either delivering Leadership programmes for corporate clients – this can range from full development programmes, change programmes or executive coaching. Or I could be researching a new brand launch or writing for Leadership Styled and the other blogs that I am a contributor for. We are also developing 2 new brands – one of which is our own Stationery line – and another being my new book. Its full on! I am incredibly lucky as I love it. I love variety – I call it ‘business tapas’.
Kirsty wears The Camelot dress in navy
You decided to change your career path after a weekend coaching course more than 10 years ago. Do you have any advice for someone considering a career change?
- Trust your gut – think about what you want to feel in your life and notice if that change will assist you in achieving those feelings. Every goal we set ourselves is for us to achieve a feeling. Rather than just looking at what the outcome is, think about how you want that change to make you feel – what are your core desired feelings?
- Resolve any issues you have in your current career because, if you do not, you will take those same issues and find them in your new career. It’s how we humans work. The grass is greener where we water it…
- Know whats important to you – will this give it to you, or does it just tick some of the boxes?
- Seek conversations with people you trust – ask them what their view may be.
- And take time to think – do you have to jump ship right away? Is it one thing or the other? Perhaps you just need to do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.
Do you have any tips for maintaining a good work-life balance?
Anyone in my team will laugh at me being asked this question as I am sure they feel I am non-stop (they fear when I get on a flight, as the emails fire through when I land). I prefer to call it work life integration – or separation. Balance suggests that they are opposite – dualistic – and can feel that the two have nothing in common. With what I do it’s different. Everything I do centres around the conversation and so there is a huge integration into all areas of my life.
What is important – as I said earlier – is to know your core desired feelings; work with those and you will have more energy.
The main elements are to keep your body healthy and grounded and this gives you more capacity to experience all of your life. So for me this means going to my Aerial Yoga class, meditating and reading – usually about murder!
In Leadership Styled you also deliver fashion and style advice – Do you think the way we present ourselves can have an impact in your career?
Massive. We all know we feel different when we wear a certain outfit – they are anchors for us. Why else would we have lucky pants or our favourite shoes?
And so, if we have a good feeling about what we are wearing, if we feel it is true to ourselves, then I believe we shall act differently – more congruent with our inner self. I vowed never to wear suits again when I left the “corporate” environment, as I felt they masked my personality and how I would hold myself. Now, I wear clothes more in keeping with me – more colour.
I love the quote by Coco Chanel :
“I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little – if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.”
What are your ultimate workwear wardrobe staples?
Black velvet shoes (from & Other stories), my treasured Chloe bag (although I fill it too much), and a classically cut dress – I feel great.
And finally, what is your favourite piece from The Fold SS15 collection?
Too many. I am a little bit in love with the green jacket I wore on shoot; it works great with my hair.
Pictures from Amelia Allen Photography