Episode 30

Liz Batalla on Women Levelling Up

Liz Batalla shares how she came to realise her dream of helping women level up both individuals, groups and the organisations lucky enough to have them. This is an inspiring episode from an experienced and finely-honed leadership coach.

We learn how to set about writing a book, what you could expect to learn on Liz' Masterclasses, what issues commonly hold women back at work, and most importantly, how to support the women around you.

About the show:

Problem Busters is a show that explores solutions to the biggest and the smallest of problems. Hosts Jonathan Goodwin and Oliver Happy discuss making the world a better place with guests from far and wide.

About our guest:

​​Liz Batalla is the Founder and Executive Director of The Institute for Achievement and Excellence and the author of the book - Level up to move up. Liz helps women level themselves up and helps businesses educate and promote their female talent.

Show mentions:

  • A corporate and academic background
  • 2020: create the Institute for Achievement and Excellence to help women level up across 9 life areas so they can better navigate the business world and step into leadership roles. As well as assist organisations better educate and promote their female talent.
  • Working in male-dominated environments, finding women had concerns around personal and professional progress.
  • A common question: how to navigate this space, in order to grow professionally and personally?
  • 03:30 three things that worry women in the corporate environment. Lack of confidence, a feeling of overwhelm/imposter syndrome, a lack of flexibility in the organisation (e.g. flexible working hours).
  • Women still tend to be the main carer at home. Having flexibility can really help.
  • Female family members are the women I look up to (grandmothers, mum, god-mother, sisters).
  • 06:00 Anything I'd do differently if I had my time again? Starting the process of what I'm doing now, earlier i.e. I'd have set up the Institute for Achievement and Excellence earlier.
  • Providing help as a manager or lecturer is different than running the Institute. I am able to touch many more lives due to making my knowledge and experience available via: online, self-paced masterclasses.
  • 09:00 What impact are the 3 challenges women are experiencing having on society? Monumental impace because it affects their contribution to their organisations, family and community. If they are unable to give of their best then the everyone they are in contact with never benefits fully from all she can offer.
  • Article: McKenzie and Company (2020) - Women make up just 15% of executive-team membership, and more than a third of companies have no women at all on their executive teams.
  • This due to not putting themselves forward as well as not being sponsored and supported into it. There are both intrinsic and extrinsic challenges.
  • A man may put himself forward with 50-60% understanding of a role, a woman may require 90% upwards to feel confident to do the same.
  • 11:00 How can the Institute help? Assisting companies to better educate and promote their femal talent and also helping the woman herself to take responsibility and level up herself so she can rise to the occasion.
  • 12:00 The 3 forces in achieving excellence are: Identity of the individual (improving oneself), connections (relationships with self and others), status (managing one’s standard of living).
  • 3 life areas in each of the 3 forces in achieving excellence, there are 9 life areas in total.
  • 14:30 Women going through the process of a self-assessment. Easiest way to identify areas of strengths and areas for improvement.
  • The three Cs: Courage, Confidence and Charisma.
  • A lot of women coming into corporate environments are lacking the fundamental skills to navigate the world of business because these skills are not taught in schools.
  • 18:00 What can women do now, to get the ball rolling? Establish where you are. Then establish where you would like to be. A gap analysis. If you don't know where you are and where you are going, it's hard to navigate the space. Speak to loved ones who are supportive of your progress, professionals and coaches, or an easy way - do a free assessment online.
  • 20:30 Liz' story as an author. There needs to be a plan. It can be loose, doesn't need to be fixed. Need to be flexible, however knowing what you need to accomplish every single day is important. I don't measure the size of the step, I just do something every single day.
  • Break it down into small chunks, so I don't feel overwhelmed, then even smaller.
  • Example: it takes 6 months to write a book, with 12 chapters say. So to reach my goal, I need to do 2 chapters per month. 10 pages per chapter gives 20 pages per month. 4 weeks in one month gives 5 pages a week = 1 page a day (not including weekends) to be written.
  • 25:30 steps to get the book published.
  • In my business, I never pay or farm out anything until I understand the process myself (unless it's very technical). So I can guide the person, and if they become unavailable, I can roll up my sleeves and do it myself.
  • 28:00 What it feels like to get a book out there. Initially scared, then proud, then happy
  • Book: Elizabeth Batalla - Level up to move up: the 3 forces in achieving excellence.
  • 30:00 How working with women is worth it. Why I do it. How much it means to me!
  • 33:30 The sharing section
  • 34:00 Who do you most look up to in the world? The women in my family. There isn't just one, from my grandmother to my mum, to my sisters. <----
  • 36:00 What book/film most inspired you recently?
  • Book: The game of life and how to play it, by Florence Shinn. It helped me to understand that like all games, there are rules. Once someone understands the rules of the game, you can play better. I started to see everything like a game.
  • What projects or movements have you most excited right now? The foundation of why I formed the institute. To reach more people, to help more people, to have positive impact on women in leadership
  • McKinsey and Company’s 2020 report:  Companies with broadly diverse leadership teams were 45 percent more likely to report growth in market share and 70 percent more likely to capture a new market. It's a huge effect.
  • The conversations are happening and I would like to see more than just a few posts on social media or text in a mission statement.
  • The movement that supports women in accomplishing their goals.
  • 39:30 How businesses can improve the situation. Two things: recognise how massive the benefit is to empower women. The fact is that diversity is not a trend, it is here to say. The public is demanding strategic representation in businesses. Secondly more action being taken. Beyond saying the right things, the action needs to be looked at holistically from inception, induction all the way through the employee lifecycle, to exit.
  • 42:30 How men can help the women around him. I choose to believe people are inherently good, but may not be aware of the situation. Be aware of the way things are said, and the way things are done. Don't speak over women in meetings. Ask questions, as she may not feel confident enough to expand on her ideas. <-----
  • In isolation, a situation may not seem like a big deal. But when a woman has to deal with a situation every single day, it can be exhausing. So just be more aware and not to trivialise what seems to be an isolated issue from your point of view. From her point of view is is neither isolated nor trivial.
  • 46:30 What is one thing you'd like to change in the world? I would love it if people could slow down just a little bit, so they could listen more actively. Really listen, not waiting to interject or to bring the conversation back to them. It is very rare to have someone truly, actively listen to what you have to say - and genuinely show interest.
  • 49:00 What one thing would you like people to take away from this episode? Identify your goal, your dream, your purpose. And don't wait. Start where you are. Use what you have and do the best that you can. Some of the greatest achievements started with tiny steps. <----
  • How can people find out more about you?
  • Website: https://achievementandexcellence.com
  • Take your free assessment: https://courses.achievementandexcellence.com/p/professional-assessment-benchmark
  • Book: https://books2read.com/leveluptomoveup
  • LinkedIn personal profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabethbatalla


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Logo and concept by Christy O'Connor

About the Podcast

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About your hosts

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Oliver Happy

Oliver works in tech and builds things that help improve people’s lives. He hosts indie podcasts Old Fox Young Fox, Problem Busters and Gone Workabout. Oliver is a Kiwi, travels a lot, eats a lot and loves sharing good ideas. He is determined to leave the world in a better state than he found it.
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Jon Goodwin

Jon Goodwin works in financial tech implementing clever solutions that help simplify business processes every day. His passions include science, engineering and dreaming up solutions to common problems. In his spare time he is a multimedia producer & friendly co-host of two podcasts the Bouyon Boys and Problem Busters.