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Supporting young women in business

22 December 2014

Francesca Boase Head Shot

On the day I applied for the Mary Reibey scholarship, I attended a Ruby Lunch with Anna Bligh. I was struck by the power and impact of a woman who continues to embrace opportunity, rise to challenges and give back – not just in her role with the YMCA, but to inspire women of many generations throughout her career.

My name is Francesca Boase and I’m a Director and General Manager at Sefiani Communications Group, an independently-owned public relations consultancy. I’m passionate about communications, leadership and business growth, and work with a highly skilled and motivated team of 22 based in Sydney and Brisbane.

Inspired by Anna’s power of pursuing opportunity with courage and conviction, I applied for the scholarship, which facilitated attendance on the AGSM General Manager Program (GMP), a six day residential course designed to introduce, test and challenge key elements of leadership and management.

The program I found demanding and challenging - an excellent blend of practical, theoretical and physical activity. I’m already drawing on my learnings from the program in my day-to-day role:

Being a leader doesn’t mean having all the answers

Building cohesion among a team of high performers and recognising my role as a leader doesn’t mean having all the answers. It means facilitating the thinking and innovation required to get there.

The power of suspension

Taking a leaf out of David Kahneman’s book (Thinking Fast And Slow) and suspending the urge to leap to fast answers without thoroughly interrogating the question… more importantly, asking whether it’s the right problem we’re trying to solve. 

The challenge of balance

Finding the delicate balance of work and life can be as demanding as the myriad projects and challenges that arise in businesses of all sizes. Turns out we’re all great at pushing ourselves, but not so accomplished when it comes to mindfulness, rest and recovery. Every day of the GMP started at 6:30am with a session focused on health, fitness and recovery, a routine that I have embraced and now practice daily.

Most rewarding of all were the relationships we formed as a group on the GMP. We kicked off the program as a group of 23 strangers in a room on Sunday afternoon and left as a cohort of smart, supportive peers having shared experiences, knowledge and life learnings.

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