A lion never cares for the opinion of sheep


Today this pic popped up in my news feed. If I was looking for a sign this was it!

Twelve years ago I was sitting in a harbour view restaurant sharing a Monday after match lunch with two senior engineers and three key stakeholder clients. . The British Lions had just lost to the Wallabies. Dad had taught to me to always support the All Blacks or anyone playing Australia so I had worn my red suit jacket and red boots to create a great conversation starter with the five boys.

Last night the British Lions fought a hard battle down to the wire against the wallabies in Briabane and won!

Over the past few weeks I had been feeling a little incongruent and had been feeling myself slip into worrying about what others think. I was feeling compelled to conform and follow the sheep. It is so silly as I have the most wonderful group of people around me who believe in what I do, sadly a few sheep in wolves clothing had been throwing me off.

The win and atmosphere in Brisbane reminded me of one of two of my wonderful bosses/mentors I had overseas…..

1. My very British ex military, rugby mad Investment Banker who said in my last week as his project assistant – “Don’t change Cate, the world needs more honest hard working kiwis. One day you will make a great role model and remember everything I put you through. Don’t quit when it gets too hard…. Keep your chin up and fight for what you believe in!
2. My very traditional Australian, also sport mad and talented Mechanical engineer who took me out for lunch at one of Sydneys finest during the 2001 British Lions Tour. I had led my first ever $10mill project on time and under budget. “Cate, you have changed Sydney and our sector for ever, all these blokes will think twice about saying no to having a woman on their team. The clever ones chose you while those fuddy duddys are kicking themselves for saying No. In the future you make sure you ignore the lambs, vultures, monkeys and soothsayers! Follow your instincts and dare to be different. Roar like a lion! And if you don’t study engineering you promise me you use your talent to kick ass!!

So to all those bosses out there – dish out some praise every now and then…. It may just change a life or an entire sector without you ever realising it. Who would have thought all these years later what pearls of wisdom they both had both offered me…

I am not an Investment Banker or even in finance and I didn’t go on to study Engineering but I am sure they would be both pleased to know I am kicking ass, being a role model and roaring like a lion.

Oops nearly forgot …….a huge thanks to those boys at lunch all those years ago at Aria – thank you for the banter, picking up the tab because you felt sorry “my” team lost and setting me up with a wonderful lifetime memory. Every four years when the British Lions tour I will be a reminded its ok to stand out from the crowd and Always Be Me!