In this special episode, the tables have turned and Jinny Olney, Head of CommBank’s Women in Focus, interviews Shadé Zahrai. Shadé is the Director and Chief Positive Influencer of Influenceo Global Inc. and a Member and Contributor of Forbes Coaches Council.
Valuable Discussion Points
(00:53) What is the story of Shadé’s leadership journey?
Shadé began her career in law where she struggled with with imposter syndrome, particularly as a young woman who hadn’t found her voice in a male dominated industry. During this time she developed and ‘obsession’ with figuring out how to create a fulfilling career in the corporate space. Whilst she had the right attitude, was networking with the right people and had a career trajectory on the fast-track, she wasn’t passionate because her career wasn’t aligned to her strengths. Upon leaving the corporate world, Shadé started her own company, Influenceo Global Inc., which she runs with her husband.
(14:50) What is the biggest thing that Shadé sees as holding women back in leadership?
Shadé believes women have a tendency to focus on their weaknesses or gaps and allow these to hold them back. Because the mind is designed to magnify what we focus on, when we focus on how we fall short or compare ourselves to others, you naturally start to focus on these event more.
(21:09) What is imposter syndrome?
It's this psychological pattern where you doubt your skills, your talents and your accomplishments. You have this persistent, internalised fear of being exposed as a fraud or as an imposter. You're also convinced that you are undeserving of any success in spite of a really strong track record of performance.
- We tend to focus on our gaps, focus on our weaknesses and convince ourselves that we are not ready, that we don't have what it takes and in doing that, we don't put ourselves out there. We aren't then taking the opportunities that we could that could catapult us to success.
- We have a lot of these strengths around people and culture and collaboration, empathy, emotional intelligence. We sometimes incorrectly assume that they are not commercial in value and we underplay them. We undersell ourselves.
- Shadé added the COA model for taking action to the Leadership Toolbox. C is for Control and asking yourself, what can I control here? O is opportunity, what is the opportunity here? What is the opportunity for me to learn, for me to grow, for me to figure out something different, to try something new to experiment? A is for action. What action am I going to take?
“If I want to succeed, I have to actually take action. I have to stop comparing myself with everyone else around me and just take action to move forward.” – Shadé Zahrai
“The importance of aligning a career behind authentic strengths and not trying to be someone that they're not.” – Shadé Zahrai
“It's kind of redefining your relationship with the self-doubt and acknowledging that, okay, I have doubt about something but I'm not going to allow it to hold me back.” – Shadé Zahrai
Important Resources and Links
If you would like to learn more about how CommBank is ensuring women are advancing their growth in business, visit https://www.commbank.com.au/women-in-focus.html.
Host of the Leading Women podcast, Shadé Zahrai helps women hack their careers to advance faster, overcome their limiting beliefs and confidently create the life they deserve. She is featured in Forbes, the New York Times, TED, Daily Mail and other media. If you’re interested in learning more about Shadé and the issues she’s currently discussing, visit https://www.shadezahrai.com