In case you missed it, we just wrapped up our incredible five-city tour around Australia with the Hon Julie Bishop. The former Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party and Australia’s first female Foreign Minister shared so many insightful learnings and a lot of laughs with our audience. Here are the six things most important things we learned over the course of the tour:
1. The sliding door moments of life are the ones that define you the most.
Sliding door moments are the times you have to make a decision that alters your path and journey in life. Julie believes that these moments are the ones that shape and define who are and who you become. Julie reflected on one of her first jobs as a junior lawyer where, despite her title, was given a drinks tray to hold during an event. Later when one of the senior lawyers left the same firm, they offered her a job. While a risky decision, Julie went against everyones advice and took the chance. It was this sliding door moment which enabled Julie to become a partner at the age of 26.
Quote: “Life is in fact a series of sliding door moments.”
2. Be true to yourself, be who you are and trust your instincts.
Julie highlighted the importance of being genuine and authentic to yourself. She explained that most of the time, people set benchmarks for you that they can’t even reach themselves. She told a story from her time as the Minister of Ageing where someone told her to stop wearing power suits and to don something more appropriate, like a cardigan. Julie tried it for a while but then realised, “once I was authentic to me, I took off the cardigan.”
Quote: “Do not let others define who you are and what you can achieve. Set your own standards, set your own benchmarks, and make them high.”
3. Believe in your dreams.
A lot of Julie’s dreams came true for the simple reason that she did not give up on them. Being a partner by the age of 26 or being the first ever female Foreign Minister could’ve easily been brushed off as unachievable. But it was Julie’s hard work, dedication and, ultimately, her belief in her dreams that got her to where she is in her life.
Quote: “Never ever give up on your dreams because they have a mysterious way of coming true every now and then.”
4. Risks are opportunities, so take them.
It’s easy to avoid risky situations out of fear. But Julie believes that risks are good if they’re calculated ones. If you’re presented with something deemed a risky, it means you’ve worked hard enough for the opportunity to be presented to you. You need to have courage and logically think through risks and Julie suggests using a pros and cons list to do so. If your risk comes out on to, take it. You’d rather take a risk and fail then sit back for the rest of your life and say, “if only”.
Quote: Take risks, Calculated risks. See risks as opportunities and don’t fear them.”
5. Women’s voices are just as important as mens
In Australia, 51% of the population are female but in the parliament the number of men far outweigh the number of women. The problem with this is that men and women have very different leadership styles: women are more transformational and focused on the needs of the team whereas men are more transactional and therefore less empathetic. While politically focused, Julie’s example simply highlights the need for a balance of voices in parliament, work and life in general.
Quote: “No nations will succeed without taking into account the ideas, beliefs and opinions of 50% of the population, which is female. Or 51%, if you’re in Australia.”
6. And make sure you enjoying life.
Julie was straight to the point with this one. You just need to enjoy life. What is your purpose if you’re not looking forward to what you’re doing every day? This goes for your work life, personal life, family life, everything. You have to make sure whatever you do is something that brings you joy. If you’re not waking up and feeling like you can’t wait to do something then you need to have a long hard think about what you’re doing.
Quote: “You have to enjoy life. As my mothers always said, ‘you go this way but once.’”
Don’t want to miss out on our next event? Well you’re in luck! Throughout July were hosting a bunch of Breakfasts with Mark Manson across Australia. Get your tickets here.