Understanding Your Strengths is The Key to Success – Sara Redman – Australia
I am a mother, stepmother, partner, business owner, pilates instructor, daughter, sister, author, coach, friend and a semi-reformed control freak.
My current role is Co-Director of SRA Corporate Change. At SRA Corporate Change we work with organisations and their leaders to unlock their potential and co-create high performance.
I grew up in Toronto, Canada and moved to Australia when I was 25 years old. Sadly, my beautiful mother died of cancer when she was 46 and I was 7. Throughout my life, my mother has always been a major inspiration for me. She was an author of several healthy recipe books for families and had her own TV show on preparing healthy food. In the 70’s this was ahead of her time, as the preference was packaged, convenience foods. I always remember baking bread with my Mom, picking veggies out of our home garden and making bran muffins, homemade yogurt and bircher muesli. I also remember her kindness, her energy, her intelligence and her ability to engage with people.
I studied at University of Toronto and completed an Honours Degree in Psychology. After graduating I was unable to find a job, and really wanted to come to Australia on a working visa. So I made the decision to move to Australia and fortunately, felt at home right away. I stayed with some friends I had met overseas, backpacked around the country, and then started to work in an employment and training company. I ended up working here for over a decade.
At this time of my life, I was absolutely fixated on climbing the corporate ladder thinking the higher I got the happier I would be. Sadly, I was sorely mistaken. When I became a Senior Executive I was ironically more unfulfilled at work than I had ever been. I felt removed from people and swamped with policy, papers, and procedures. It took me almost two years to muster up the courage to leave this very respectable role and venture into the unknown. Upon leaving the organisation, I was lucky that I was able to take a redundancy package that gave me a few months buffer to find my feet. Leaving this role was most definitely the best thing I could have done, but was extremely hard at the time. All of a sudden when people asked me ‘what do you do?’ I literally couldn’t answer. I realised how much my identity had been connected to my job and my title, and I was a bit shocked and embarrassed by this. I carried out some soul searching to figure out who I really was, and what I really wanted in my life, not just professionally but personally too.
As a result of this reflection, I ended up working as a consultant in project management with businesses I had already known through my previous job. I also decided to become accredited in pilates, as my favourite pilates instructor (and the only one at the time in Launceston) was moving away. I enjoyed the consulting for a while, and I continue to enjoy running pilates classes today.
After reflecting more I realised that my strengths lie in communication, particularly – speaking, deeply listening, working one on one and in small groups, with an ability to draw people out, and always see, the good in people. Having worked as a counsellor I remembered my passion to support people and to help them realise their potential, and I decided to become accredited as a coach. Eventually I was able to weave this into my business, and I changed to straight consultancy, which included wellbeing coaching and corporate workshops. In hindsight this was a good move as today I deliver strategy, leadership, culture & wellbeing programs with our team of 10 at SRA Corporate Change.
I should mention this was all after several business attempts and failures. The failures were hard, but provided an immense amount of learning. For example, I learnt the importance of partnering with people who are aligned with your values and beliefs, of putting your working goals, plans and strategies in writing and ensuring you are on the same page, I learned how important it is to have the strength to back your gut instinct, because in my experience, it always seems to be right.
I experienced many crisis points in my life, as we all do, and only just learned recently that the Chinese characters for crisis are ‘danger’ and ‘opportunity’. What an apt pairing! When we find the opportunity in the crisis it helps us let go, and move forward which to me is what resilience is all about.
Throughout my working life I have always had a deep desire to author a book. I feel this very likely links back to my Mother and her working life. I cannot say how many times I have planned or half written a book but never got them to a point of completion. Clearly something was blocking me. I had an insight when I found myself standing in the pantry one day, having an intense desire for chocolate. Now I don’t normally have chocolate in the house but I was desperate so even considered cooking chocolate! Then I stopped and asked myself ‘what is going on here?’ In that moment I realised that I felt as if I wasn’t enough to complete a book! Who was I to share my knowledge or experience with the world? It all came down to self doubt – something that I have seen time and time again in myself, in my family and friends, and in the 100’s of clients I had coached at this point. So guess what? The insight meant I no longer wanted chocolate…and it helped me move forward to finally complete my first book. Glimpse is all about assisting you in catching a glimpse of the person you have the potential to become – your best possible YOU. We all can be that person, sadly, we just don’t all see it… yet.
I am proud and inspired to have completed this book when I was 46 years old and my son was 7, which is the same age my Mom was when she died, and the age I was at the time.
My main message? Notice when you are doubting yourself and be gentle with yourself. This is normal but also a time to find the courage to push through. How do you do this? Really take the time to get to know your own unique strengths and talents. It is only when we know our strengths and bring them into our lives that we can find true fulfilment.
About the Author
Sara Redman – Tasmania, Australia
Sara Redman is the Co-Director of SRA Corporate Change. SRA Corporate Change works with organisations and their leaders to unlock their potential and co-create high performance. Prior to her current role, Sara worked in an extensive range of positions, some of which fulfilled her, others of which did not. From these experiences, one key learning she has taken away is that understanding your strengths is the key to success.
Inspiring Story – Sara Redman – Australia
To contact Sara:
Web: SRA Corporate Change
Please visit this link to get her book, Glimpse: https://sracorporatechange.com.au/shop/
Nikki Taylor personally thanks Sara Redman for sharing her inspiring story today with us on Inspiring Women Today by Nikki Taylor. Should you too wish to share your very own inspirational journey/story please email firstname.lastname@example.org and our editorial guidelines will be sent to you.
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