Five words that can transform your beliefs about visibility

By

Sarah Anderson

I’ve watched this statement land in the hearts of women countless times.

The belief that being visible is about being boastful or mindlessly in the spotlight holds many women back from using their voices and visibility for influence.

As they hear this phrase, the penny starts to drop.

I've long observed a yearning in women to be visible authentically, so it feels aligned to who they really are; to let it work alongside their values and strengths. I heard it again today from a woman who said she wanted to “do visibility my own way”.  

When we identify the purpose of our visibility — what problem it's solving, how it acts as a platform for what we stand for — everything changes. Those internal voices of fear, impostor syndrome, "not there yet" and "not for me" dissolve when shot through with purpose, strategy and a clear plan.

This is something Rose Falla knows about intimately. As the first indigenous magistrate in Victoria, and being instrumental to establishing the Koori Courts in that state, her role in driving change through courageous visibility is unassailable. We were so fortunate to have Rose join our panel as part of the Visibility and Influence Masterclass for women in the public sector. Rose was joined by her long-time friend and collaborator Kate Auty (incoming chair of the Environmental Protection Authority), and together they shared their experiences with more than 40 women leaders from across the public sector in Australia. Rose and Kate shocked up our notions of what it means to be visible and even a “leader”, which has different connotations in indigenous cultures.

In an amazing, closed conversation Rose and Kate shared profound insights on visibility, including:

  • The urgent need for women to find ways to be “interrupters”
  • Learning to live with the discomfort that comes with influence and visibility
  • The importance of generosity and trust in a cynical environment
  • Overcoming and, standing up to, discrimination… strategically
  • How to actively build a profile in male-dominated work spaces
  • The definition of leadership in a cross-cultural context
  • Why we need diverse voices in leadership at all levels, and ways to support this

We’ll be sharing more on what we learned from Rose and Kate in the coming time. But what they demonstrated, so clearly, was that visibility with value and purposeful action can create the shifts we all need.

About Visibility Co.

Working at the intersection of leadership, strategy and visibility, we seek to be strategic provocateurs and catalysts of systemic change, supporting you to unleash the potential within so you can create a better world from wherever you are.

While we’re not big on labels, we’re often referred to as social impact and communications strategists, or strategic leadership advisors, or visibility experts.

Fancy words for a business, led by Julia May and Sarah Anderson, that brings together purposeful leadership, strategy and communications in truly integrative and innovative ways.

Find out more

More Blogs

5 ways to manage up AND down with ease

One of the most common challenges we hear from leaders is being squeezed between the expectations and demands of senior leaders, while also needing to constructively manage and support a team. This contributes to a sense of paralysis and lack of progress. So how do you effectively manage up — maintaining visibility and a good working relationship with your boss, while simultaneously managing down — building a constructive culture and supporting your direct reports to lead?Here are our five tips that are as useful for managing up as they are for managing down… all ultimately supporting you to use your time and energy most effectively.

Read more
The power of purpose and how to find your own

Purpose is the fuel for wellbeing, self-awareness, clear decision-making and meaningful impact. But it gets a bad name because for many, it feels hard to find. In this article, Visibility Co director Sarah Anderson spells out what it is.. and what it isn't ... and shares a step-by-step approach for eliciting yours.

Read more