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Hidden Gems: Meet Lisa Gillette of Big Sky Coaching & Consulting

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Gillette.

Hi Lisa, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Keynote speaker and certified executive coach PCC – ICF, Member ICF, NLP Practitioner, Gallup-certified strengths coach I’m an equal pay activist. My company BIG SKY Coaching & Consulting refers to my personal philosophy “when you see the big picture, you will find the opportunities.” I focus on women’s leadership and the special challenges all women face in the workplace. I believe every woman deserves equal access to professional opportunities, career advancement and of course equal pay. My goal is to guide and support women leaders who want to ascend up the ranks of management all the way up into the C suite. But I’m not stopping there…because gender bias is systemic. And yes….there’s a lot of work to do. Every woman over the course of her career experiences a double standard. I certainly did. I spent 25 years working in corporate; the last ten as an executive in sports television; a fast-paced, highly intoxicating and extremely toxic work environment. I was often the only woman at the table and sometimes the only executive with the expertise and ability to take action. You can imagine how well that went over with some super-sized egos….. I work with trailblazers; fierce women who want to ascend into roles of greater leadership and influence so they can make a lasting impact. Whether in the corporate arena or startups, media, tech, finance, health or higher education, these are the work environments where significant change is so desperately needed…NOW. If you’re a woman who’s ready to “be the change that makes the difference” let’s talk. I offer practical tools, techniques, tips and (yes, even ninja mind tricks) that I love to share; whether one on one, in a workshop or from a stage. I’ve personally beta tested these strategies and they’ve worked very well for me, now they work well for my clients.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Can we just acknowledge it’s different (difficult) for women in the workplace? Women are held to a higher standard in general, especially women in leadership roles. And the path to career advancement….well let’s just say there are a lot more obstacles when you’re female… Gender Discrimination is real. I’ve experienced it and I had to figure out how to deal with it because I wanted to navigate past it. I had to roll with the punches, “shake it off” and still be feminine; assertive not bossy, firm not bitchy, the voice of reason vs. risk adverse. And I had to do it all without losing my cool. Women are promoted for their previous accomplishments. And men? They’re promoted for their future potential. It’s not fair…but it didn’t stop me, and it shouldn’t stop you or any woman who has the vision and calling to lead.

My advice to every woman leader working in a corporate setting, a start-up, or as an entrepreneur: 1) Never stop learning. Continue to expand your industry knowledge. Cultivate your expertise. Log your wins, especially those accomplished with reduced resources, tools or staff. This is how you develop expertise and it’s one of the hallmarks of effective, successful leaders. 2) Become a master at making friends and influencing people. You can call it networking, but think of it as an essential skill set, like breathing. A few kinds of words and a genuine interest to listen can create a lifetime of goodwill. 3) Amplify your professional presence. Stop giving away your power by diminishing your accomplishments or belittling your contributions. Pay attention to your impact on others. What do you want people to say about you after you walk out of the room? 4) Enhance your leadership profile. Understand how you motivate yourself. Learn how to inspire others. If you can’t feel confident than be prepared for any crisis; you’ll feel relaxed and that presents as a quiet confidence. 5) Put the oxygen mask on yourself FIRST. Make self-care a priority so you can be focused, on point, and in the flow. Hydration, nourishment, exercise and sleep are critical to top performance. You can’t give 100% if you’re running on low octane fuel.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I’m an equal pay activist. The name of my company BIG SKY Coaching & Consulting references my philosophy “when you see the big picture, you will find the opportunities.” Connect with me on LinkedIn and Instagram, or check out my website for free gifts!

I teach women leaders solution-focused, results-driven, practical strategies to advance in their careers. Topics include; communication, presentation, negotiation, leadership styles, mindfulness practices and mindset resets, skills assessments, self-care, equity and inclusion.

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
True success is not an accident. Lasting success is achieved with focused intention, strategic planning and precise execution. You could say that luck ‘appears’ when preparedness meets opportunity. Was it luck that I went to a dance class during my junior year in college, got asked to stay for an audition and landed a job in a dance company that paid for my living expenses during my senior year? Or was it all those hours of ballet classes as a kid? Was it luck I sprained my hip as a 30 years old performing artist in the downtown NYC dance scene only to transition into a career in television thru a random encounter at a party? Or was it my “make it happen” mindset? Was it luck, three years later, I was asked to build my first nonlinear post-production edit facility? Or was it because I took a lot of engineers to lunch for the 411, and ask what equipment to buy and how to get it wired, then started a campaign to build an in house facility for my staff? Was it luck that my resume got pulled out of a pile of hundreds of applications at (what was then) the premier sports television network, land an interview and get the offer? Or was it because I knew I wanted to advance in my career and so I created a strategy to do it? And finally….was it luck when I retired from corporate that I decided to speak about how I navigated and excelled in my own career? Or was because I wanted to support other women who were struggling with gender bias just like I had? Luck is what you make of the events that happen in your life. Those events that you have “no” influence over…..because when you can see the big picture, you will find the opportunities. Where’s there a will you can always find the way.

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Image Credits:

Innis Casey Lisa Gillette

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