Following International Women's Day, we partnered with senior females in Transformation to discuss their success, career defining moments and what advice they would give to another female looking to pursue a similar career. This is what Nicci Grusd, Change Director at Commonwealth Bank, had to say.
Nicci is a professional, self-motivated change professional with over 16 years experience across a broad range of industries and transformational programs/portfolios. Nicci is a high performer with a keen interest in leading organisational change management practices, transformational thought leadership and enabling through support the achievement of business outcomes through change.
What factors do you think have been critical to the success you have achieved in your career?
If I had to choose 3 things, I would attribute success to having the right attitude, good judgement and an underlying focus of doing what I believe is right. There are a few principles that I follow day to day to support me with this:
Beginning with the end in mind (Stephen Covey 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) – I begin each day, task, engagement with a clear vision of where I would like to get to and then I proactively focus on driving this to fruition.
Timing is everything – There is a time and place for things to happen, leveraging judgement and experience to position and introduce things at the right time has been invaluable. Also acknowledging when timing is not quite right and adjusting accordingly
It takes a village… - I believe a fair amount of my success can be attributed to the people around me, collaborating, leveraging, learning and challenging one another and respecting the experience, individuality and skills that exists around you
Talk about the elephant in the room – being comfortable to address the uncomfortable in a respectful manner, not only keeps things entertaining but ensures the right outcome is achieved
Can you highlight any career defining moments?
There have been so many moments and experiences that I can reflect on, its often the hard times that have left an imprint on my career, here are the key standouts:
Securing my first role at a large consulting firm- when the firm came to recruit at my university I remember looking at these consultants, the way they presented themselves and the confidence in how they spoke about what they did - they made so much sense I just wanted to be one of them! So I did exactly that – and am still consulting today and loving it.
Working for Richard Branson- if you want to learn anything about transformation, work for the Virgin group- I learnt so much about quality, customer service, values and brand and I have carried these learnings with me throughout my career
Returning to work after having kids – the skills I developed being a mother have far outweighed any career development program that I have every been on - my degree of tolerance, patience, empathy and resiliency grew exponentially and continues to do so
Getting feedback- I find receiving feedback from someone I have influenced – whether it’s a note of gratitude, an active addition to my network, a request for advice, or developmental tips - reminds me why I do what I do and reinforces that I am doing the right thing
What advice would you share with females on how to progress their careers within Transformation?
Establish your value proposition on a project early on. Understand the skills and capabilities around you, what needs to be done, what problems you can solve and work out the unique role you are going to play in all of this.
Build your network – identify people and skills that compliment yours, stay in touch, nurture these relationships, connect people and grow your span of influence. Stay on good terms with all people.
Grow, grow, grow – manage your own career no one is going to do this for you. Be clear on what is next, set up your development goals. Be open to new things, see the opportunity in all situations
Experience is key – gain experience in a variety of different initiatives across different industries. This will teach you to deal with a multiplicity of challenges and stakeholders and provide you with a host of transferrable skills for the next initiative.
Authenticity – “be yourself everybody else is taken”- (Oskar Wilde) Simply put, it just feels right and you will be happy and attract things into your life and work that truly resonate with you. There is uniqueness in the way you do things that makes all the difference.