Emma Corpade of Supercharge Academy: “Become an expert at something”

The biggest and by far the most exciting thing that I have planned for the near future is collaborating with another powerhouse in the coaching space, my dear friend, Nina Kalmund, to create The Supercharge Academy, an organization focused on providing high-level coaching and mentoring to women executives and business leaders, through a range of […]

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The biggest and by far the most exciting thing that I have planned for the near future is collaborating with another powerhouse in the coaching space, my dear friend, Nina Kalmund, to create The Supercharge Academy, an organization focused on providing high-level coaching and mentoring to women executives and business leaders, through a range of science-based, future-oriented and results-driven programs.

As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Emma Corpade.

Emma Corpade is an Elite Performance Coach, co-founder of Supercharge Academy, and a multi-passionate entrepreneur with more than a decade in the business world. Following an award-winning career in one of London’s most prestigious corporate organizations, Emma transitioned into entrepreneurship as a way of pursuing her deep interest in human psychology, travel, and creative design and making an impact in people’s lives on a much bigger scale.

Passionate about empowering and inspiring women to succeed, Emma holds nothing back when it comes to sharing her message, whether that is as a speaker on global stages or via her top-rated podcast, Success Redefined Podcast, and believes that we all have a responsibility to take bold and consistent action towards becoming the role-models and leaders the world so desperately needs.

As a Coach, she supports highly driven women entrepreneurs and business leaders on their journey towards creating a life on their terms, a life of flexibility and freedom which allows them to create the impact that they want to create in the world while doing more of the things that matter the most in their life.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

I have a corporate background, having spent more than a decade in one of London’s most prestigious corporate organizations, leading a team of international experts in showcasing London as the fabulous travel destination that it is to global audiences. And while I really enjoyed my corporate years and I was presented with some unique opportunities, I always felt pulled towards something else, something more, something different. I found this in entrepreneurship, having launched my first London travel business more than ten years ago, while I was still employed, albeit for a long time it was just a passion project, something that I did to escape the demanding and high-pressure environment I was in.

I follow my passion in everything that I do and my businesses are a true representation of this, as I am split between travel, creative design, and, more recently, coaching and mentoring.

But my current life was created from fear and a dream — a fear to remain stagnant in my corporate career and settle in my comfort zone for the sake of living a secure and predictable life; and a dream to make a difference in the world, to strive for something bigger than myself, to embrace exciting opportunities, to live a life of limitless potential, freedom, and flexibility and to inspire other people all over the world to believe that it is possible for them as well.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

I have always liked to do things my way. I grew up in an environment where stability and comfort in life were valued higher than passion or alignment, and while I listened to that to some extent and climbed to the heights of the corporate ladder as a way to pursue that security, I always felt that there was more to life than that.

And that desire pushed me to take action towards finding what that more was for me after my second daughter was born when I realized that, while I felt accomplished as a professional, I was feeling an imbalance between that particular aspect and other areas of my life. I was stressed and felt under constant pressure due to work, I was missing out on my kids’ childhood because of the long hours, my relationship with my husband was very tense, my health was becoming a challenge, I wasn’t sleeping very well.

It felt like I had made every possible compromise with myself, my health, and the things that mattered to me in order to get to professional fulfillment. And, while I enjoyed all my career achievements and all the fantastic opportunities that came with it, I got to the inevitable point where it felt like there was more for me out there. I wanted more, and I knew I was capable of more.

But, there is a vast misunderstanding regarding this idea of MORE, particularly in the corporate world. In order to have more results, more satisfaction, more fulfillment, more impact, we are convinced that we have to DO more or achieve more. So, we push ourselves to work harder or for longer hours, and we take that as a badge of honour, thinking that there is no other way. And everyone around us does pretty much the same, which adds to the normality of such detrimental behaviour.

But, in fact, the secret is not pushing ourselves to DO more, but to BE more. And this concept is unheard of in the workplace development programs available within most organizations, both for the employee or executive levels.

So through everything that I do, I have made it my mission to bring this incredibly beneficial concept to as many individuals as possible. I believe that it’s about time we focused on the things that make a real difference for us as individuals and for our organizations and create a new, unique and individual path towards fulfillment and joy, rather than continue on a society-made path that is taking a lot of us to burnout, overwhelm or unfulfillment.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Well, not particularly funny, but a big mistake I used to make in my early days as an entrepreneur was to chase approval. I had a lot of people around me that would gladly offer their praise towards my efforts and my achievements, so I became convinced that if I had an excellent track record as an employee, then entrepreneurship must be a breeze as well.

And for months after going full-time in entrepreneurship, I got hardly any results because I was taking preferential action and doing what I liked more than those uncomfortable things that would push the needle forward. But I thought that I was doing amazing because a lot of the feedback I was getting was pointing that out to me.

And that’s such a big issue, particularly for high achieving individuals, because we like taking action, perhaps more action than the majority of people out there, but when our effort is met with admiration and approval, and we have people around us who would tell us what we want to hear, that’s not doing us any favors, that’s not really helping us in any way.

Yes, praise and approval may make us feel good about ourselves and our efforts, but criticism gives us the chance to improve and grow as individuals and improve the products or services we are trying to sell to the world.

Because it all comes down to adding value. When we get praised for doing things that are perhaps not to our true potential, but we get the impression that what we’re doing is amazing, the process of adding value stops. Because we don’t need to do anything else if we’ve already done amazing, right?

And the value we add stops at ordinary, so you’re missing out on doing the extraordinary things that we are, in fact, capable of doing.

It took me quite some time to realize that, and it all started with asking better questions both myself and the people I worked with — questions like ‘How can I make this better?’ or ‘How can I improve this service?’ or ‘What’s my lesson in this mistake and how can I make things better next time?’

And by asking better questions, we increase our chances to get a more truthful, critical answer that might lead to us taking whatever action is needed to improve.

It’s not about what we want to hear, but really it’s about what we NEED to hear, and the sooner we realize that it’s not praise but criticism or constructive criticism that pushes us to get better and live and do things to our full potential, the greater the things we can achieve in life.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

I love this question. I have a few life-changing moments in my career that I cherish greatly when I was either faced with an important decision or I was at a turning point, and in each of these moments, I had a powerful woman by my side guiding me in one way or another. Sometimes it was a superior sharing some great piece of advice, sometimes it was a casual conversation with someone in a meeting, or sometimes it was a dear friend who had my back unconditionally, but it’s those brief moments that had an incredible impact on my life and the person I have become.

There is something extraordinary about a strong, confident, and fearless woman, and I made it my mission to be around such powerhouses because I wanted to be like them. And my quiet, introverted self was far from that fearless image, particularly in the early stages of my career, but I always kept that image in my mind. I always knew who I wanted to be and what kind of person I wanted to become, even if at times I didn’t feel like I was there YET.

In more recent years and particularly since I stepped out of the corporate environment and I embraced my own personal development journey, in my desire to absorb as much as I could, being very curious and eager to learn and grow, I would listen to a lot of mentors and coaches because I thought that, as long as they are more successful than me in one way or another, then they must know something that I don’t. It took me a while to develop the skill to filter the information and the advice I was listening to and only keep what was truly relevant to me and my circumstances.

But I am a firm believer that we need someone by our side at every stage in our life to push us to the next level, and I have become very selective about who I work with, and that brings incredible benefits. The mentors and role models who have significantly impacted my personal and professional life in recent years are Neale Donald Walsh, Marisa Peer, and Mel Robbins. I find their work truly inspiring.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

I believe that, as business leaders, we have to be very clear in terms of what we are trying to achieve and the difference that we are trying to make in the world.

For me, disruption is a positive change. It means going against the way things were done before, going against the society template, the expectations, the norm.

Whether we look at the way we do business, the way we parent, or the way we present ourselves as individuals, we must have the courage to go against the idea of doing things by DEFAULT, i.e. the way it’s always been done, the expected way and instead, embrace the idea of doing things by DESIGN. This means doing things our way, based on our own needs, our own dreams and aspirations, our own vision of success, our own personality, and life circumstances.

And that takes courage, yes, but that brings creativity and originality to the world. That allows us to follow our dreams unrestricted and, more importantly, when we embrace our own greatness, our own potential, everything and everyone around us benefits. The ripple effect is extraordinary around people that do this, and that is the extraordinary way to live life.

And I believe that the world is in desperate need of such positive disruption, and I really want to make a point that we cannot wait for society or organizations to create this disruption. We must create it ourselves at an individual level. I take it as my responsibility to help make more of these extraordinary ripples in the world.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

“Become an expert at something” — the world is full of transactional people, those who know little about a lot of things, the generalists, whereas those who are true experts at something are very few. And those are the change-makers in the world. I was a generalist for most of my corporate life and, to some extent, one must be, as the leader of a team or an organization, but in entrepreneurship, there is no room for generalists.

“You are the sum of the people you surround yourself with” — whether these are your family or the people you work with. I am blessed to have the full support of my husband and close family in everything that I do, but I have had people around me, life-long friends, that I had to let go of due to the lack of alignment. And while this is not always easy, it is part of the journey. The same applies to the people we work with. It is crucial to surround ourselves with people who share our vision, values, and commitment to excellence.

“Never let your fear be bigger than your dreams” — There is always an abundance of reasons not to follow your dreams. I remember when I was faced with the decision to leave the corporate world behind and step into full-time entrepreneurship, I must have come up with every excuse and every concern possible. “What if I fail?”, “What if I’m not cut out for it?”, “What if I can’t handle the uncertainty?”

But we have to remind ourselves that sometimes the decisions or choices we have to make in life might not be the easiest, or the consequences of those choices might not be very easy to handle. Because if we don’t make those difficult choices for ourselves and step bravely into our leader’s role, we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to fulfill our life purpose and make the impact that we were born to make in the world.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

The biggest and by far the most exciting thing that I have planned for the near future is collaborating with another powerhouse in the coaching space, my dear friend, Nina Kalmund, to create The Supercharge Academy, an organization focused on providing high-level coaching and mentoring to women executives and business leaders, through a range of science-based, future-oriented and results-driven programs.

In a world where relatable examples of women leaders are still few, it is our mission to disrupt the current landscape and create this unique opportunity for those women intent on shaping their own future, becoming the role models they know they are, and making a valuable difference in the world.

Another very exciting opportunity is to have been invited to join the judging panel for the UK’s prestigious National Business Women’s Awards, which celebrate the achievements of the most talented female business leaders in the country, and that will be another great chance to showcase some fantastic role-models to the world. I believe that true leaders are created during challenging times, so if we think of the challenges that businesses and business owners have faced in recent times, then I am even more proud to have this opportunity to reward the courage, creativity, and resilience of these fabulous women.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

I know we live in the 21st century, but the reality is that women, particularly those in leading roles or who like to do things their way, are still largely underestimated, so I think one of the biggest challenges they face is that they are not being taken seriously.

Another big challenge is the general expectation that business must be done in a certain way (the traditional masculine way).

I briefly worked with a coach some years ago, whose idea of building a powerful personal brand was to remove every single element that was remotely personal from your positioning and create this highly professional façade defined by a whatever it takes attitude.

And while I see the value in this masculine approach, and I embraced it throughout my corporate years and actually helped me keep myself to a really high standard of professionalism and build an impeccable reputation for myself, I think it’s somewhat limited for the entrepreneurial world and coaching space in particular.

People look for professionalism, yes, but they also look for authenticity, connection, alignment, shared values, emotion, and creativity, and women bring these to the table beautifully.

And if there is anything that the world needs right now is exactly such powerful elements.

Society still has a lot of work to do to support women, whether in the workplace or in business, but we cannot wait for it to catch up. We have to step up and take the lead by creating more opportunities for growth, both personal and professional, and pave the way for the next generation by inspiring our little girls to dream of becoming tomorrow’s change-makers.

Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?

Reading is my passion, and many of the books I read in recent years have had some impact on my life and my growth, but I will go for the one that is very close to my heart and my actual mission — Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg. It’s a book that actually started with a TED talk that Sheryl gave back in 2010 called Too Few Women Leaders, where she talks about the main reasons why a smaller percentage of women reach the top of their professions than men and what we can do about it as individuals. But the book takes this topic to a whole new level.

Having been in the corporate environment for more than a decade, I got used to never talk about the fact that I was a woman because quite often that might be interpreted that you are looking for special treatment, so I avoided it at all costs, and I know that a lot of women in that environment do the same. But that doesn’t really work, and I did have my moments when I felt like my ideas were not being taken into account, or my voice was not being listened to.

And Lean Inputs the spotlight on this issue and makes it very clear that women are holding themselves back from reaching leadership roles because of the gender stereotype. It’s that expectation, regardless of culture or location, that men should do certain things and behave in a certain way, for example, be strong, assertive, take the lead, whereas women should be supportive, helping, caring, or, in some cases, speak when spoken to.

And it’s something that subtly creeps its way into society and everyone’s perception from early ages, if we think that, all over the world people refer to a girl that wants to do things her way and take the lead, as “bossy”. In contrast, a boy who does the same thing is being applauded and recognized as a born leader, without any of the negative associations.

And the best example of the same stereotypical pattern in the workplace is how well-known leadership qualities like strength, ambition, assertiveness, ability to make difficult decisions are perceived for men and women. A boss who is a man and has those qualities is recognized and admired, while quite often, a woman in a leading role, with precisely the same qualities, might be perceived as ruthless or aggressive, and that often leads to her losing her popularity amongst the employees.

And this is one of the biggest reasons why being at the top is a rather lonely place for many women because it comes with criticism, misunderstanding, and lack of connection.

And that’s exactly what our mission at the Supercharge Academy is, to equip women who have reached certain heights in their career with the skills that enable them to activate the next level version of themselves, step into their greatness in every area of their lives, develop resilience and strength from within, so they can meet the demands of their lives with incredible courage and grace and more importantly, without compromises.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

This is an interesting question, but I will tell you that, while I am a huge fan of various organizations that have this quantity approach when it comes to making a positive difference in the world and I hold nothing back when it comes to supporting their causes, I believe that the most powerful impact we can make in the world as inspiring leaders is to shape the generations that come after us and that starts in the home.

I am a parent of two girls, and everything that I do, I do with them in mind, and when it comes to being a parent, there is no bigger responsibility and honour than to be a positive role model for your children.

And, beyond the challenges that the world was faced with in the last year, I am incredibly grateful for the fantastic opportunity that was created, with the abundance of personal development programs and summits organized virtually, that suddenly all came into people’s homes and allowed parents to include their children in that growth experience.

I joined various such virtual events, some of which lasted 3–4 days, so we watched them together as a family, something that would not have been possible had they happened in some conference room somewhere around the world. And yes, it might be that a lot of the topics discussed might not make a lot of sense right now to a four-year-old and a nine-year-old, but they soaked up the positive energy, the atmosphere, the enthusiasm, the life-changing moments that a lot of those mentors or influential people shared, and those will stay with them regardless of their current level of understanding.

And I applaud every parent who included their children in such experiences because together, we ensure that the generations to come have this growth-oriented attitude and that increases the chances for their success but also the success of the society they will live in.

Because if we are on this journey towards excellence, leadership, and success for ourselves, then we already limit our horizon. I know for sure that I’m in this for my children and for the positive change that they will be able to make in the world through the opportunities that I am grateful to be able to provide them with right now.

Can you please give us your favourite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Sure. There is a quote by Roy T Bennett that I really like, and I had it made as a bookmark. It says, “Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely”

You see, countless factors go into determining how successful we are in the world of business and also in life, and a lot of them are perhaps external factors, not necessarily within our control, but one of the things that we have FULL control over are the choices that we make every single day, from the very moment we open our eyes in the morning, in fact even before that, because we make the choice to either wake up to the alarm clock or press the snooze button.

And the moment we become aware of that, and we start taking responsibility, not only for the choices that we make but also for the consequences of our choices, we put ourselves in a different league — a league of role models. And that’s where everyone who is or aspires to be a leader belongs.

How can our readers follow you online?

Instagram @emmacorpade

Facebook facebook.com/superchargeacademy

Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/emma-corpade-7261a61a/

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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