Before there were multiple best-selling books and sparkly awards. Before the global speaking events and the celebrity leader interviews. Even before the corporate girl... there was a kid with an eye for inequality and determination to help the balance.
At 16, my brother was in the Australian Air League. One Friday night meet-up, I looked at his squadron and wondered where all the girls were. They weren't allowed. So I went and found grown-ups willing to run a girls' squadron and girls interested in being involved- and we got it off the ground.
I landed on the corporate ladder with the rest of the boys' club, and found success, fast.
Loving parts of my job. Successful and playing the game, but losing myself in the process.
Scared to death of doing it differently, no matter how many times I belted with Pat Benatar to Now I Believe! in my zippy white sports car crawling through the 7am peak hour five days a week.
I did not have the solution right out of the gates.
My corporate career saw me running global executive recruitment campaigns for Johnson & Johnson, Fosters and other giants of the consumer sector, financial services and government. I loved coaching businesses to attract and nurture the right talent and I adored coaching leaders into their dream roles…
But my heights of success were at complete odds with the nagging sense that it just wasn’t me.
When I finally took the plunge and quit to find my path, it seemed like a total stab in the dark. Plagued by second guessing and a battering sense of “not-enough-ness” that made everything feel a gazillion times harder than it should.
When I started applying for roles, “open to anything”…
… I quickly realised
“Without clarity, I couldn’t sell myself, to save myself!”
With sink-or-swim fervour, I got incredibly busy.
Accumulating accreditations & training in leadership & coaching & assessing leadership abilities. Building my own business, helping corporates to build their talent pipelines, and at the same time I worked part time for a global talent development firm with a stellar reputation.
I quickly clocked up thousands of coaching experiences.
I got to hone my coaching craft, helping people to step into the capabilities and brand required for their dream jobs.
Working with leaders, I found that our very personal, unique career paths are eerily replicable. The fears and the successes. The incredible delight of that, is I got to apply solutions over and over. I’d tweak with every client I worked with, to be more direct, to get it tighter, to quicken the path with stretch and accountability…
To systemise the leader’s path to their ideal.
This high volume of clients meant I learnt to coach people to their goals pretty quickly.
But there’s a question I’ve asked many thousands: “what’s the number one thing holding you back?”
Nine out ten tell me it’s courage. Some call it self- doubt, or imposter syndrome, some say “I can’t be me in the next job, so I don’t want it”.
I had a white picket fence upbringing. Loving, married parents and a good education. Courage was a strength, but it hadn't really been tested that much. Then when my kids arrived, things started to change. I walked into major trauma that played right into my self-doubts and would take years to fully resolve.
The accolades and numbers, even the images of people I’ve worked with… all of that’s pretty cool, but it doesn't tell you why I’m different.
I've worked as a leadership coach for 20 years... but the skills I teach have been forged in fire.
It’s a fire shrouded in shame- I should have been stronger, should have seen it coming! And it's not my story alone. So I tend to focus on how I can help you, not how my skills reached the level they have.
When we do work together, I’m going to ask for vulnerability from you. So it’s only fair, as creator and leader of this ship, I do the same. Safety permitting.
They said mine was the worst case of psychological abuse they'd ever seen. I have PTSD and they say I always will. My psychologist said he sees many people who can't get out of bed dealing with a tenth of what I've experienced - even at a time when I was writing multiple best-sellers, bringing up 3 divine kids and living a pretty balanced, nurturing life.
By living what I teach.
Living with PTSD, you can be sure I practice what I'm preaching and keep learning, to keep evolving.
There is no one courage-building strategy that works all the time, or for everyone. But assembling a toolkit to meet any challenge is pretty straightforward. Not easy, but simple.
Please don’t get the impression I’m always exuberant. I sure aint!
Yes, I'm positive and driven. But this is a full and complex life I live, with plenty of mad delicious chaos. Just like yours.
I simply have the tools and the habits to push through to what I want, with blessed balance and the space to breathe.
I absolutely cannot wait for you to see the benefit of these strategies in your life, too.
Action by action.
Not just ‘step by step' theory.
But getting into the nitty gritty details of what you need to do, helping you embed mindset hacks and build in strategies that hold you accountable.
I’ve taught it on the global conference stage, alongside the likes of former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the Honorable Julie Bishop, Leigh Sales, and Anna Bligh.
I’ve taught it through my #1 best-selling books.
My team and I have taught it through workshops, coaching and courses.
I’m able to do this because I teach what I know.
I teach what my clients have used and what I’ve personally relied on….
I understand that you're already at capacity. Maybe even past it! And you may not know the exact direction to take. Maybe your career isn't magically laid out before you.
All of that is totally ok! Most people just don’t pop out of the womb knowing intrinsically what they love to do!
Especially for those of us who were raised as ‘good girls’, people pleasers, or who just don’t fit the usual look and feel of success in our society. It’s hard to find your purpose when there’s no time to make yourself a priority.
And let's be honest: time is no different to beds and handbags: no matter how much you have, you spread out to use it ALLLLLLL up!
But I know that you’re ready.
That’s why you’re here- browsing development resources, rather than bingeing Netflix.
That’s why you’ve invested so much of yourself in a career trying to be your best and create a great life for you and those you love.
By reading this, you’ve proven you’re willing to DO the work – you just want to make absolutely sure you’re doing the RIGHT work at the RIGHT time.
And feel confident that every bit of effort you invest will pay off.
In my own business since 2007, I've been incredibly fortunate to work with brands I've LOVED, to create more inclusive cultures and more capable, engaged, fired up, on-track individuals. The team has expanded, shrunk and expanded with the projects we've run.
In 2015 I created Gender Gap Gone and it's been a beautiful journey. But our name can also be divisive. For about 30% of women and a number of men, a gender-focused name is a barrier. So in 2020, I created Big Goals Group, to work with the people who want the knowledge, who need the support, but who balk at female-labelled programs. Same underlying company, same fabulous team at work- but with a gender-neutral brand option for those who prefer it. So now, you'll see both names in our work!
2 - time #1 Best-Selling author on courageous career secrets.
Awarded Gold in the AusMumpreneur Women Will Change the World, 2021.
Awarded Gold in the People's Choice Award for Leadership, 2021.
Coached >7000 individuals to their next move.
Spoken with thousands of leaders – big names, minor celebrities and relatively unknowns, about what drives us to greatness and how we overcome.
Addicted to Travel Guides.
Never far from the water with Sam and our kids (we have 5 between us). Usually in Sydney, but anywhere blue will do!
I love to bake - my gingerbread & rocky road are legendary.
Still regularly belting out vintage tunes in the car, but now the kids join in too.
Want a cheeky peek behind the scenes?
Cath and her team are incredible. My team is completely invigorated and I'm inspired to take the next step. Thanks for the inspiration Cath!
- Tahlia Shorter, Marketer
Catherine has guided me through a difficult transitional period in my career. Her expertise in the area, as well as her personable interaction, have allowed me to explore sometimes confronting issues and carried me through to a fantastic end result. I will seek her counsel again.
- Kim, Public Sector Leader
Catherine is an inspiring coach and mentor who enables you to focus on identifying goals both professional and person to grow as a human being.
- Nadine Miller, Marketing Director