Pick the most exciting project on your plate right now. You want to choose the one that calls to you the most. Think through how much time you want to devote to it each day/week/month. To get there, think of all the bite-sized steps that go into it and estimate how long each takes and the frequency. Don’t just turn to it during the dregs of your schedule – proactively protect time for it.

Continue reading →

Many of us take on the dual roles of mother and businesswoman, and while we believe these roles go hand-in-hand, sometimes it feels like they compete against each other! And that’s when it’s nice to be reminded of just how well we’re actually doing (even when we can’t see it for ourselves). This article celebrates and honours the working woman, and features advice from exceptional mothers in the LH Agenda community. Enjoy, and keep rockin’ it, mama!

Continue reading →

Over the many years since Leaders in Heels began, we have worked with hundreds of contributors, watched our six-figure community prosper and collaborated with so many talented experts. These experiences have taught us many things, including how different people hone their productivity. We’ve pooled some of this knowledge, including some hidden gems from super busy women, to create this guide for improving productivity.

Continue reading →

When thinking about hiring mums, I often reflect on years ago when I used to manage recruitment for a large online business. Whenever I’d get an application from an entrepreneur I’d immediately turn them down because I thought their skills wouldn’t be a good fit, they didn’t fit the brief and they wouldn’t want to work for someone else for too long.

Wrong. In fact, my mantra now is “Always hire the entrepreneurs!”. The skills, resilience and work ethic needed to be an entrepreneur means there’s a high chance they’ll be successful anywhere.

Now my new hiring tip is mums. Why? Well, let’s look at the skills you want in an employee.

Time management

If you’re anything like me, chances are you get way more done on the last day before you head off on a holiday because you know exactly what you need to get done before you go and you have a hard deadline. This is how mums approach Every. Single. Day. They just don’t have time to muck around.


One thing you can be sure of in business that things will get hard on a regular basis. You want employees who can rise above the stress and keep a clear head. Being a mum dramatically changed my definition of stressful. Give me a tough day at work over dealing with a screaming, wriggling child whose nappy hasn’t been able to contain a truly astounding amount of explosive poo on less than four hours sleep over the past three days combined. Hiring mums cannot builds resilience in your team.


Things don’t always go to plan and the ability to be flexible and find a way around problems rather than grinding to a halt at the first sign of difficulty is a crucial skill. This pretty much describes every day of my life since becoming a mum. I feel like Macgyver half the time, using whatever is at hand to get the job done and changing plans at the last second to accommodate my daughter Izzy is the norm.


In any team you need people with empathy, especially in your leaders. Empathy is the grease that keeps a team working well together, and customers happy. Needing to learn how to provide for a small human who can’t talk is a great lesson in empathy. And when they can talk, they’re still learning to control their emotions and feelings which can challenge and grow those empathy muscles in a big way.

Hiring mums is great for your leadership team

In my experience, mums tend to make strong leaders. Just like each child is different, with different needs and wants, the same is true of adults too and parents seem to intuitively get this with those they manage. It’s also pretty hard to get kids to do anything you want and you quickly develop mastery of creating a compelling vision and getting everyone on the same bus to get there as a team.


This is probably the most important one for me. Having Izzy quickly realigned what’s actually important in my life. So many things I used to feel were important suddenly didn’t feel all that important anymore. This has translated directly into business for me, I find it much easier to let things go and find myself asking questions like “is this the best for the business, or am I doing it for me?”. This is a trait I really look for in my team – the ability to check your ego at the door.

About Libby Babet

Libby is co-founder of upcoming immersive business and wellness retreat for women hosted, Nurture Her, hosted 18-22 October in Fiji, which has attracted fantastic speakers including Julie Bishop. A wellness guru who has appeared as a trainer on The Biggest Loser: Transformed, Libby also owns several fitness studios and a healthy snack business with two brands, Chief Bar and Beauty Food.

I have two options, both fantastic: I can attend a business conference dedicated to empowering women in advertising… or my daughter’s school presentation. It’s an age-old case of conflicting work and family events.

At first glance, it was a no-brainer. I would go to my daughter’s performance. But then I started researching the conference. It was dedicated to women in leadership and covered topics I’m incredibly passionate about. I could listen to others who have been in my shoes, discuss how to rise through the ranks, and learn more about supporting diversity both in advertising and the world around me. It looked awesome.

Suddenly, the choice felt impossible. I could spend time learning from other empowered women in my industry and advancing my career, or I could choose to celebrate my daughter and support her on her own journey to becoming a strong woman. Both were important celebrations of women, but ultimately, I still had to decide between doing something for my career or being there for my family. While it was important for me to celebrate women in my industry, I had the feeling that in my daughter’s eyes, if one person needed to be at her performance, it was me.

I’m not alone in this struggle. Working parents have been trying to balance professional and personal demands for decades. Do you choose to stay late and miss family dinner? Do you get to the office early and miss doing morning drop-off? Or do you stretch your timeline at work?

Instead of letting these decisions eat away at us, we should allow them to empower us. After all, just having, and owning, the ability to make these decisions is empowering in itself. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when you have to weigh your personal versus professional priorities:

Go with your gut when choosing between work and family events

You usually know the right answer. What feels right is usually just that. But if your gut isn’t talking, take a beat. Find a quiet space and think. What will make you happiest and most fulfilled? Go with that one. And if that means family comes first, so be it. Or if you choose to stay for a presentation with your team, so be that, too. As long as your co-workers feel supported and encouraged and your family members know that they are number one, it will all pan out.

Be resourceful

While you can’t be in two places at once, your support can. In fact, your resourcefulness is probably one of the reasons you are where you are today. Use technology to help you be present when you can’t be. Or tap into the best resource of all: your support group. Work or family, there are people with whom you share a mutual trust and respect. Who better to ask for help?

It’s all too easy to tell yourself that having to choose between work and family in the first place means you’re failing. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to shine in both places — just in different ways. And sometimes, at different times.

Don’t waste time feeling guilty

Make your decision and stick with it. Feeling guilty will only prevent you from benefiting from the decision you laboured so hard over. Don’t spoil it. You make the choice to be somewhere, and you make the choice to enjoy it.

If you choose work, you’re not saying work is more important than family. If you choose your family, it doesn’t mean your career suddenly doesn’t matter. Those are extreme labels people might like to impose on you, but it’s more complicated than that. You’ll have the opportunity to make another choice in another situation, and if you find some semblance of balance in your choices, you’ll find balance overall.

Separate and conquer conflicting work and family events

Wherever you choose to be, be there 100%. Dedicate work hours to work and family hours to family. For example, let’s say you chose to go to your kid’s basketball game and leave work two hours early. So what? Deadlines are met, and the team knows you’ll be there to support them the very next day. And if you have to be absent at home one night, your family will rest easy knowing that the time you spend at home is dedicated to them.

Carve out time just for you

Ah, that impossible task of finding me time. The reality is, if you don’t invest in self-care, these decisions will be way harder than they need to be. Rather than approaching them with a calm, clear mind, your fears may take the lead, making it difficult to stay on task or be totally present with your family.

Just remember, your decision doesn’t mean one aspect of life is more important than the other. Make sure your family knows they always come out on top. They may lose a few battles, but they win the war. Meanwhile, you may find that these decisions make you a stronger leader at work by building empathy and time-management skills. If you can successfully balance family and work life, at least most of the time, you’re probably a much better leader, personally and professionally, than you’re giving yourself credit for.

So back to the original dilemma: You’ve got two options, both centred on empowering and supporting the women in your world. Which one do you choose?

Lexi HarperAbout the author
Lexi Harper, associate creative director at RAPP, embraces her passion for fusing ultimate precision, relevant tonality and an intimately understood target to craft break-through creative and lasting, memorable experiences.