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Ah July 2020. A full year on into Fierce Project Management! Of course 2020 hasn’t been the 2020 I planned, and lockdown (and life after official lockdown) has taken it’s toll with a toddler at home and our usual support network, childcare and nursery having vanished overnight. July for us has been when some of that has started to come back and it’s been a relief!

I am gearing up to an exciting Autumn, where I will be talking about the Fierce Way to creating a Brave New World at the PMO Impact Summit , a feature in Project Magazine and another exciting speaking announcement still to come! Not only this but I was asked to feature in a social media magazine, write a guest blog and guest on a podcast – all on topics related to women in project management as we emerge from lockdown and into a new world where gender equality has been shifted.

My face after an amazing interview for Project magazine!
My face after an epic interview with Project magazine

All of these opportunities have arisen from allybuilding and consistently amplifying my message – being clear on my ask, my mission and self-promotion, of celebrating my successes publically. This is the core of carving a career you actually want, and to be an effective change-maker in my view. I advocate these at the heart of Fierce Project Management – and this is what I work with my coaching clients and advocate in my communities.

It hasn’t happened overnight – this is a year in of consistently showing up with my message of empowering women in projects to be fierce, and talking my talk and walking my walk providing value to those in my world, sharing the vulnerabilities within my boundaries and getting comfortable to stretch into my fierce zone being courageously visible – and asking for what I want with allies who could support me.

I have also been able to ask allies who are experts in their field to provide sessions in our membership community for the fierce topics that matter (which the community have told me are important to them)- I have known Jonathon for 11 years and Mandy is my actual very best friend in real life, from since we were 16 years old. We’ve spoken about Customer Experience for Fierce Project Managers and Sexual Harassment – so we understand what our rights actually are and what constitutes as sexual harassment. I learnt alot from these sessions and I learn so much from our Fierce Project Managers in our Membership too.

We have a Fierce PM Bookclub, the incredibly fierce talk that really matters, and are an amazing support network. I am seeing Fierce Project Managers thrive, but also being able to support each other through the dips – being a change maker is hard and could be lonely without a network who has got your back.

I’m also working on my skills and invested in two new programmes to support my speaking and business and community growth. I get that investing in your own development is a big decision and I absolutely feel this. For me I decided it was the right step. This is alongside working towards my International Coaching Federation accreditation in coaching so I can better support my clients which has been a big cost and time investment – however I am absolutely seeing the benefits of serving my clients to be even more fierce even better. I absolutely recognise the commitment of investment in those who choose to work with me and it’s important to me that I am there for them honouring their investment so that they can level up.

Clients have had great coaching wins. Recently a VIP 1-2-1 client started her new role as a Assistant Director – she had reached her goals and was absolutely living the career she wanted, which was huge steps from when we first started working together!

We are officially half way through the summer round of the Fierce Project Management Mastermind and they have been doing some deep work on getting clear with what their ask is, their values and acknowledging their awesome. Wins have also been showing up more fiercely, amplifying their message online (moving from LinkedIn lurkers to showing up with a message to share), standing up for what it is important to them at work and even in personal life, communicating and asserting their worth, setting fierce boundaries and creating visions for the future they are actually excited about that is uniquely right for them.

A win from a Fierce Project Manager in the Summer round of Fierce PM Mastermind

I even updated my Vision Board alongside our fierce PMs who have been getting clear on their own ASK, This was a great reminder to me of the successes over the last year of how I am carving out the vision through my work and personally as well as focusing on what is really important to me going forward, I even added some really BIG and FIERCE dreams – which will be a big big stretch but I do believe I can create those realities!

An updated Vision Board

Personally my biggest win in July was completing the Samarathon! I walked 26.2 miles over the course of a month! Supported by a team of Fierce allies. We contributed to the £4k raised by my local branch of the Samaritans, where I have been a listening volunteer. This will be a phenomenal boost to the charity – and for me and my toddler it’s got us active and in the habit of near daily regular walks, which is a huge change from an entirely sedentary & hibernating June.

I’ve also been volunteering with Gravesend Gurdwara to deliver meals to the vulnerable through lockdown. This has made such a huge difference to some who have really needed it

I still haven’t been going ‘out out’ very much but with the easing of lockdown we have started seeing close family and that has massively helped with grandparents looking after my toddler, Kai, again – we have loved getting that connection and support back. Kai seems to have got a lot more sensible and grown up over lockdown – although not entirely! For the very first time in over 3 years Kai has even had sleepovers without us there! This is opening up the vision of more freedoms 🙂 and even a one day Fierce PM retreat which was suggested in the membership community – and ah yep I added it onto the vision board! So watch this space!

Of course it’s not been always easy – Things have also been stressful, difficult and exhausting through July, much to do with fatigue of life in a pandemic, quasi-lockdown, trying to work and family stresses – I even had a car accident and an argument with Just Eat about a cake that was not left at my doorstep! I’ve shared much of these and had some lovely support and fierce compassion directed at me, and that others related. #cakegate even sent me viral on LinkedIn!

A big lesson for me has been Fierce & Compassionate Boundaries. I ended a relationship with a community member who overstepped boundaries because she disagreed with a viewpoint I held. I know I put myself out there online so I understand people will disagree and we even have these fierce conversations to explore our views and healthily challenge each other out of group think – yet this particular I asked my membership community to sign up to fierce and compassionate boundaries so I can keep a genuinely safe space and they were ALL so supportive. We’ve all built deep connections and it was hard to lose someone who I valued yet this was what needed a big lesson for me.

Being an empath online has taken its toll in July 2020 with much more negativity and divisions being apparent and I am also putting in new fierce boundaries to allow me to still amplify my voice and connect with the things that benefit me but minimise the downsides of social media.

In other news -I wrote a poem in two parts! I have been more active in blogging and doing videos. I’ve offered a scholarship for a space on the Fierce PM Mastermind Autumn round through The Business of Healthcare scholarship. I’ve been told I’m Fierce regularly – and I’ve loved hearing it 🙂

Just a few months ago, I would say that even though my passion and gift was empowering women to embody their fierceness. That didn’t mean I am fierce myself, though I aspire to be, and that helps me to take stretch opportunities. I’ve told you about the pesky imposter syndrome before – but heck, I’m owning that fierceness now. Yes I am fierce! If you want more fierceness then sign up to my mailing list, and from August there will be more regular newsletters! There that is an August goal out already – plus I am working on something especially EXCITING!

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