Pippa spent 15 years working in television news both in Australia and the UK. Most recently she was a reporter for Channel 7 in Sydney filing stories for the 6pm News and Sunrise. Before that Pippa spent 7 years working for BBC Television in London producing major news events — the highlight being the US 2008 Presidential Election. She told me that she will never forget the euphoria in Washington the night Barack Obama was elected, people filled the streets beating pots and pans in celebration. she now uses all those practical media skills to train individuals and organisations to communicate with credibility and confidence when a situation is live. Pippa is also very proud to be a facilitator for CareerCEO, a respected career development program helping women to communicate with authority. The program helps close the confidence gap and enables women to level up in the leadership pipeline.
1. Humble Beginnings
Q: How did you get started and what or who inspired and empowered you to?
As a kid I loved watching 60 Minutes so naturally my 16 year old self — who’d never left Australia before — decided life as an international journalist would be the career for me. It was a romantic and terribly naïve view of the job that was soon quashed when I got my first reporting gig and the rigors of ‘life on the road’ became clear. 12 hour days chasing stories and doing interviews often in the most dreadful and heart wrenching of circumstances. But I loved it. I’ve always been naturally curious and enjoyed storytelling — it’s how we connect with people, it’s how we inform, persuade and influence change. My Mum was a high school principal Dad a Scientist, both had successful careers which they credit to loving what they did. They instilled in me a strong work ethic, but also a drive to be authentic and do what I enjoy.
Q: What mindset distinguished you from others who were doing the same thing? How did you develop it?
I’m intrinsically competitive — not with others — but with myself. Many journalists are control freaks — your day is mapped out minute by minute as you chase a story and chase the clock to make a deadline. For a long time I was chasing perfection. I’d go back and watch every story, every live cross, every presentation — analysis paralysis — it was crippling self- assessment. Now I strive to do the best job I can, as I realise perfection can often be the enemy of the good.
3. What is your definition of success?
I used to think success was measured by how much money you made or how senior or powerful you were. Having children changed all that. Success for me is personal happiness. Life is a roller-coaster of halcyon highs and heartbreaking lows. The challenge of raising two small people, setting their moral compass and equipping them with the skills to thrive in this world is enormous. Watching them laugh, learn, play and share gives me more happiness than I ever thought possible. It’s validation I’m doing a good job as a parent. Helping people — whether it be a CEO tackle a tricky interview or a female executive perfect a public presentation — is the most professionally rewarding part of what I do.
Q: What do you think is the main reason why some people face failure when going after their vision?
We all fail before we truly master anything. It may not feel like it at the time but it’s from our failures and false starts that often our greatest lessons are learnt. When I teach people how to master an interview or communicate with authority I explain it’s a skill, and like any other skill it can be mastered with practice. You wouldn’t pick up a tennis racquet for the first time and expect to serve aces nor should you expect to have the best business plan, be the best doctor, painter or singer when you first start out. Life is filled with lots of ‘first drafts’. What I’ve learnt is you need a reservoir of resilience to keep going, particularly when the odds are stacked against you. Resilience breeds persistence which is a powerful personal quality.
5. What is the best piece of advice you have received or came across and would like to share with everyone?
“It’s the journey not the destination that matters” The other day I got in my car and entered the address into the SatNav. I got completely lost and ended up on this dirt road. It made me think — your career (and life for that matter) is a long journey that often goes off course. You just need to be open to getting a little lost sometimes, be prepared to reset the navigation and continue on.
To view Pippa’s amazing work, connect with her on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/pippagardnermedia
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Originally published at medium.com