International Women's Day 2022: Michelle Leffley
International Women's Day 2022
To celebrate International Women’s Day this year we have profiled a number of remarkable women from our business. These women are making amazing contributions to their workplaces and local communities by ‘connecting’ with people to make a difference.
Introducing Michelle Leffley
Head of FCM’s Account Management team in NSW, Michelle Leffley, has played a pivotal role in helping to manage some of FCM’s largest projects during the past few years. Michelle believes asking questions and being courageous are some of the key attributes for a successful career.
As head of Account Management for FCM in NSW you are quite often dealing with high pressure situations and many different stakeholders. What strategies do you employ personally to perform well professionally?
One of my key strategies for success is managing my time and prioritising important tasks and most importantly taking ownership. One of the most recent projects I was working on, was very fluid, there was little time in the early stages for planning, none of the core group had ever done anything like that before and each of us took ownership of the role we played to ensure it was a success. I also make sure I have a great team around me that I can trust and delegate to, although ultimately it is me that is accountable for the outcome and success of my team. I work well under pressure and stay calm so I can focus on an issue to get it resolved. When dealing with senior leaders you realise these are people who have a responsibility and once you understand their key drivers and outcomes you adapt the strategy to ensure these are delivered, which results in a trusting and successful partnership.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
The recent advancement of women in leaderships roles has been amazing to see and I believe you need to appoint the right person for the role, regardless of gender. I remember in my early years at Flight Centre Travel Group, I was lucky enough to attend the Women Wise event in Brisbane and this really was when the rise of women in leadership was taking off. It was such an inspirational day to hear women’s achievements recognised and understand the challenges some women faced in the ‘70s and ‘80s and how far we have come. Events and recognition like this allow women and girls of any age believe they can achieve their dreams.
What is your message to young women or men growing up in terms of helping them to ‘Break the Bias’?
I am a strong believer that people should be recognised by their work ethic and performance in their role and that the right person for the role be appointed, as we know the workplace does not always work in this way. Therefore, it is important to hold strong to your values and live through these, know what you are capable of and never be scared to ask questions and be courageous throughout your career. I think you should always follow your passion and goals and, in the process, understand what you have to do, to achieve these. It maybe that you need to work on certain areas of your development or take on new projects and in the end believe in yourself.