Those we surround ourselves with, within our business leadership roles, are our circles of influence. We need to be conscious about who they are, what they mean to us and why they are there.

Within the environment of entrepreneurship and business leadership, we deal with aspects of invention, ingenuity, risk, failure and successes along our journey. But these aspects do not define the nature of entrepreneurship; they are merely the props on the stage we are standing on. The definition of entrepreneurship for most of us will be more about why we are on the stage, which stage we want to be on, how big we want it to be, and how many others we will lead from our stage.

And who else is also on our stage, standing behind us or in the wings? Their presence is also critical to where we land, and the value and experience of our journey. When I started my own business, I was heavily influenced by a work colleague who sat me down one day and told me, “Sandy, the most important thing in life is to make stuff you money”. Well, this is the polite version, but I knew what he meant and being 23 years old and vulnerable to the bigger decisions being made around me that had considerable impact on my own life, I knew that what he really meant was that we had to be financially strong if we were really going to create our own choices. And he was right. In that same company, I had the privilege of attending an in depth course about effective leadership which gave me all the tools to focus my mind and control my thoughts to inspire the actions necessary towards where I wanted to go and most importantly, understand why I wanted to go there.

Early in my journey, when funds were tight, I read as many books as I could on personal development subjects to keep my energies and creativity up. In terms of my early years, these influences were my chosen circle of influence. There were many more who lobbied for positions, but were relegated to the outskirts of my circle as they were of the opinion that our business would never work, that it was more responsible to stay employed and that we were crazy to try.

And so we have to consciously select and often refresh our circle of influence as we grow as business leaders. We will outgrow some, whilst others remarkably stay with us no matter where we are on our own journey. Here are the common traits of those I have the privilege of having on my stage, in my circle of influence:

• They will tell me what I need to know, not what I want or sometimes think that I need to hear
• Their own lives are a reflection of their values and their beliefs. Whether or not they align with mine, they are authentic in theirs
• They carry their own weight. Whilst we all need some help and comfort along the way, this is not a relationship based on need. It’s a relationship based on mutual encouragement and upliftment
• They know different things to me and help me to see things with a fresh and enlightening perspective
• They have my interests at heart. I know this because my doubts are always safe with them and, more importantly and uncommonly, so are my successes
• Our relationship is authentic and respectful. By this I mean that they have no hidden agendas as to why they are interested in me. If it’s because they are offering me professional services, they are authentic in that. If it’s because they are my friend, they are authentic in that too and they mix the two respectfully when the lines blur, which often happens

We also have different depths of circles of influence. These depths include: physical support, emotional support, intellectual support and gender support.

Whilst the EnQ Lion is genderless in terms of the approach to the tools and learning, there is no doubt that as a woman I do spend more time personally in amongst the pride than my male counterparts. Accordingly, I have a circle of influence, which is all about being the best version of myself as a woman business leader. At the end of each year, I like to publish something just for the ladies in recognition that sometimes we do things differently and simply deal with different things. This year, I am delighted to be hosting a webinar with five guest presenters, who form my circle of influence, to share their expertise with you.

Please join us for the 90 minute “Lioness Circle of Influence” webinar on Thursday, 11 December at 7.00pm NZ time, 8.00am South African Time and between 4.30pm and 5.00pm Australian time.

Our exciting line up of guest presenters include:

*Glenda Aitkenhead* is a colour and style specialist. Glenda began her career as a professional make up artist for two large international cosmetic companies. She went on to write training systems for another global cosmetic company and expanded her horizons into personal image and colour. She has been guiding her many women (and men) clients towards the confidence they didn’t know they had ever since. Glenda is a passionate and informative speaker on her subject of expertise.

“After a short session with Glenda I felt as if I had been let out of a box, – suddenly I had a lovely range of colours to choose from, suitable make up tips and a better understanding of styles. This has made such a difference to my confidence and my budget as I no longer buy all the wrong things. I wish I had known how easy this was years ag.” Sheila Feller, Marketing Director

Glenda will be presenting on: “Colour me Confident”

For more information about Glenda:
glenda1@orcon.net.nz
021 054 6107

*Sonja Gardiner*, has spent many years nurturing her deep awareness and appreciation for the naturally nutritious building blocks of life. She left her career in Human Resources and Administration to formally study Nutritional Science to follow her passion for helping others live healthy lives infused with happiness.

“Through her thorough evaluation Sonja was able to identify some key areas for improvement, and provide me with easy actionable steps to reclaim my health. Her authenticity and genuine desire to see change is evident, and she makes the process easy and enjoyable.” ~ Kirsten

Sonja will be presenting on: Adrenal Fatigue: How to avoid and recover from this 21st century epidemic

For more information about Sonja go to: www.sonjagardiner.com|https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sonja-Gardiner-Nutrition/693349310745104https://plus.google.com/117572167619360802894|http://www.pinterest.com/sgnutrition |https://www.linkedin.com/in/sonjagardiner

*Lana Potgieter* is a business owner, facilitator and executive coach.

Using the proven methodologies of Success Motivation International, Leadership Management International and neuroscience Lana has helped her clients achieve results in both their personal and business lives beyond their wildest dreams.

“There are no ‘abracadabra’s’ in life that will take us to our ‘treasures’, but with the program that I followed with Lana, I’ve been given my ‘road map’. My journey will not be fast, instead it will be steady. And be sure, I’ll find my ‘pot of gold!” ~ Theresa Styles Kha-Ching Retail Marketing Specialists

Lana will be presenting on: “How the Lioness Avoids Overwhelmed”

For more information about Lana go to: http://www.excelerate.co.za/www.LMI-world.comhttps://www.facebook.com/ExcelerateConsulting|https://twitter.com/Lanasmile | https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=3451122

*Julie Baines* is a qualified personal trainer and owner of One On One Fitness, specialising in women’s health, fitness and well-being. Julie is the epitome of her belief that in the fitness world “less is more”. Having just competed in the Wellington NABBA Figure Women’s over 40 years and won gold, this 48 year old mother of three educates her clients on how to include exercise in their busy lives and enjoy the process.

Julie’s will be presenting on: How to exercise smarter with the Julie Baines “Less is More” philosophy

“Before I started working with Julie Baines I described myself as allergic to exercise but I always leave my personal training sessions with Julie feeling energized, motivated and looking forward to the next time. I am also 27kgs lighter and I haven’t finished yet!” ~ Hayley Kerr

For more information about Julie go to: www.oneononefitness.co.nz|https://www.facebook.com/pages/ONE-on-ONE-Fitness/565280873499943|https://www.linkedin.com/pub/julie-baines/60/621/b24

*Letitia Buckle*, entrepreneur, Mum of three year-old twins and Director of Quintessential Concierge specialises in providing business support services to small businesses, large corporations and entrepreneurs.

With over 15 years experience in corporate, hospitality and public sector administration in New Zealand and the UK, Letitia’s passion is helping time poor business owners become more effective in managing their businesses

“Letitia is a delight to work with, efficient, accurate and the consummate professional.” ~ Tania Witheford, Managing Director of Staah

Letitia will be presenting on: Why the Lioness needs a Personal Assistant

For more information about Letitia go to: www.quintessentialconcierge.co.nz|https://www.facebook.com/QuintessentialConcierge|https://www.facebook.com/groups/quintessentialconciergesupport|https://twitter.com/QuinConcierge | https://www.linkedin.com/pub/letitia-buckle/18/112/577

*Sandy Geyer*, entrepreneur, author and professional speaker specialises in working with entrepreneurs to develop their Entrepreneurial Intelligence (EnQ). The CEO of an educational publishing company, a property investment company and the founder of two specialist international training practicers, she epitomises effective women leadership in business.

“It’s as if Sandy’s been spying on me in my business, because she knows exactly what I’m going through. She is inspiring, insightful, informative and encouraging. I thank her for doing what she does and for being a compass in a sea of entrepreneurial how-to’s.” ~ Abigail Klopper

Sandy will be hosting the webinar and presenting on: The traits of the lionesses in my circle of influence

The lioness Circle of Influence webinar is free, with the compliments of the season and best wishes for 2015 from EnQPractice. Please register for the webinar by clicking on this link:http://webinarjam.net/webinar/go/10583/0e7b184ef1.

Whilst the presenters will be focusing on women in leadership, any men who are interested are most welcome to attend as the topics are all relevant. Please pass this invitation on to your friends and colleagues with our compliments. See you there!

“To succeed in business leadership as a woman, we have to get over ourselves and out of our own way. It’s not an easy thing to do when so much of who we are, what we stand for and what we look like is either ridiculed or blown completely out of proportion by those who can’t get over themselves.” Sandy Geyer