For those of you who have had the pleasure of meeting the remarkable Peta Credlin, you can vouch for the fact, that for a woman who has held one of the most prominent and powerful political positions in the country, she is decidedly humble and down to earth. And, as Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s chief of staff from 2013 to 2015, one could have easily become, let’s face it, quite arrogant and power hungry in such a male dominated ego-centric environment. But, there is no prima donna here. Peta Credlin, by her admission, is just a country girl at heart and like so many professional women has had to overcome her own set of insecurities, vulnerabilities and stereotypes as a leading woman in business.
“… she is decidedly humble and down to earth”
“On first impressions, one assumes that she is confident, empowered and able to stand her ground under any circumstances.”
On first meeting Peta Credlin, I was instantly struck by her natural beauty and presence. She is impeccably dressed and strikingly tall, and one can’t help but be drawn to her warm and welcoming demeanour. On first impressions, one assumes that she is confident, empowered and able to stand her ground under any circumstances. An accurate assumption for the most part, but not quite the whole story. For you see, Peta Credlin hasn’t always felt like the political powerhouse we perceive her to be. And, underneath her public persona lies the real secret to her success and a personal brand that seeks to empower other professional women to stand out to be seen, be heard and be noticed for all that they have to offer in both life and business.
I had the privilege of meeting and sharing the stage with Peta Credlin at last week’s Women Leading Business Forum run by The Russo Group. Her appearance as a keynote speaker enabled her to set the record straight about her career challenges, the perception of her brand, feeling invisible and the gap that still exists between women and men in today’s professional landscape.
Firstly, the obvious question is how can such a successful and accomplished woman ever feel she was ‘invisible’ when she walked into a boardroom? To have to give up her assigned ‘seat’ at the table for three years to a man below her ‘rank’ just because she was a woman and too intimidated to ask him to move. The revelation took guts to admit and exposed that there is one thing you can be sure of about Peta Credlin, she is authentic! I mean she is the real deal and has no hesitation baring all if she feels it will help other professional women understand the complexities of navigating their own path to success in what is still predominantly a man’s world.
And indeed, she had every woman in the room savouring her private anecdotes and insider snapshots of her life at the top of the political game. Including the misconception of her personal brand and reputation as being tough, uncompromising and fearsome due to her undeniable ability to “run the government as efficiently and effectively as she could!” * There is no doubt that if she were wearing a pair of ‘pants’ in the party room, she would have been perceived as powerful, strong and unwavering. But hey, there’s no surprises there.
“she stands by her country girl values and beliefs preferring to stay out of the limelight
and remain in the trenches where she feels she has the most to contribute.”
The other astounding thing about Peta Credlin is that even in this new digital age, where your personal brand, executive presence, leadership and influence is measured by your on-line footprint, Peta chooses to be fiercely private, refusing to have a personal or professional profile on any social media platform other than LinkedIn. Her public exposure is limited to her appearance as a political commentator on Sky News, and for Peta, that’s all she’s willing to share. Instead, she stands by her country girl values and beliefs preferring to stay out of the limelight and remain in the trenches where she feels she has the most to contribute and can get the work done without the distraction of the virtual world of likes, shares and followers. In fact, her defiant resistance to developing a considered personal brand that will craft her impact and influence online is just what sets her apart from the crowd! She is indeed a rare commodity in a world that is now deeply connected by the web and is demanding a new kind of leadership.
So, if you get the rare chance to attend a function or event where Peta Credlin is willing to share her wisdom and experience centre stage, take it from me, it is well worth the ticket price!
She is genuine, captivating and a rare treat!