Your Brilliant Career Podcast
The go-to resource for getting the most out of your career
This podcast provides an injection of energy and practical insights to women who are committed to their career. I share tactics, tools and stories that inspire capable women to think bigger and unapologetically achieve the success they deserve.
One of my early realisations was that there are many unwritten rules about career success that no one tells you. Smart women are tired of generic career tips. They want accessible, relevant and practical tips. Each episode includes content that inspires women to step up in their career and experience the energy and reward of being more.
Your Brilliant Career is a podcast that aims to help more women rise and reach new heights in their career.
How often do we throw away our power? How often do we fall into the trap of letting other people decide our worth and value and mostly because we default to pleasing or wanting to be liked or avoiding upsetting someone?
I'm joined by Kemi Nekvapil - executive and personal coach for female leaders, global speaker and author of Power - A woman's guide to living and leading without apology. We will be talking about her book, which I cannot speak highly enough of. She has done an extraordinary job of redefining POWER to make it feel both accessible and enticing.
When you spend time with someone like Kemi, it's hard not to think about what is happening outside your little own microcosm, the impact of your behaviour and even what else is possible.
Links we talked about on the podcast include:
RISE Accelerate program: https://www.yourbrilliantcareer.com.au/rise-accelerate
My free guide - How to say 'no' without compromising your reputation: https://www.yourbrilliantcareer.com.au/how-to-say-no
Power - A woman's guide to living and leading without apology: https://www.keminekvapil.com/power-book
Don't forget to subscribe!
Inspired? Looking for more?
We are always creating, innovating and sharing at Your Brilliant Career.
Connect with us to stay ahead of the game and if you loved this episode, we would be incredibly grateful if you shared it via your socials or left a review!
Hello and welcome to another episode of Your Brilliant Career. I am so excited to introduce you to Kemi Nekvapil today.
A little bit of background about Kemi. So I knew about Kemi for a few years before I met her. I’d seen her present online, I’d listened to her podcast. I could see that she was quite brilliant at being a personal and executive coach. So, when I was invited to pull together a stellar group of speakers for an international senior women’s leadership program, I knew immediately that Kemi had to be included, and it was wonderful. She came onboard. Kemi delivered the final session of this four-month program, which I attended and wow, did she deliver an incredible session.
As a presenter, Kemi has a remarkable ability to engage and empower people to think differently. The group was literally sitting on the edge of their little chairs, captivated by her wisdom and her coaching questions. It was fabulous.
What I personally have come to really admire about Kemi is her ability, and it’s very much a conscious choice, to rise above the small stuff. Her motivation is far bigger than most people’s motivation. She is driven by a social awareness, a very deep social awareness, and a desire to make the world a better place. Now, when you spend time with someone like this, it expands you. It literally expands you.
You are prompted to think about what is happening outside your little own microcosm right now, the impact of your behaviour and even what else is possible. What change could I drive? What do I need to understand more about? It is both exciting and challenging because it does require new thinking and a commitment to step outside your circle. But I am so inspired by this challenge – and I hope you are too.
If you love this conversation and you want to hear more Kemi and I’m kind of banking that you will by the end of this episode, then check out her book called - ‘Power: A woman’s guide to living and leading without apology’. We will be talking about it today and it is a brilliant read. It will open your eyes to what power and privilege are. Kemi has done an extraordinary job of redefining POWER for us –it feels accessible and enticing.
In the book, she teaches us how to stop hustling for our worth and to own our value and power. She shares some wonderful personal stories, really personal stories, and what power is for other women, so she gives a broader perspective, drawing on some of her clients’ experiences. It is a compelling read.
How often do we throw away our power? How often do we fall into the trap of letting other people decide our worth and value and mostly because we default to pleasing or wanting to be liked or avoiding upsetting someone?
Now, if that resonates, well buckle up for this episode – because it is a conversation you probably need to hear right. It is wonderful – so let’s dive in.
Gillian Fox: Kemi, it is so lovely to have you here, and I'm delighted to have this conversation with you. Thank you for joining me.
Kemi Nekvapil: Oh, my absolute pleasure to spend time with you, Gillian. I'm looking forward to our conversation.
Gillian Fox: Well, we have a lot to talk about because I've loved your book. Absolutely loved it. But I feel like a good place for us to dive into, just for context, is to tell us about your very interesting career background because it wasn't always an executive and personal coach.
Kemi Nekvapil: No. When I left school, I actually became a baker. From baking, obviously I had the natural segue into chefing, a less natural segue into acting. I worked with a Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theater and was on TV in the UK for three and a half years and ended up writing some of my character at the end.
And then from there I have a very strong food background. Food's very important to me, especially the eating part of it. I then moved to Australia because I found myself pregnant with my then boyfriend, now husband and I started a little business here in Australia called Food Traditions. I had two young children at home, and it was really around what is it to create traditions and rituals around food with children and families. Then I moved from that into having a Steiner playgroup at home.
Gillian Fox: Oh my goodness.
Kemi Nekvapil: That was another little segue, and from there I stepped very much into the raw food space here in Australia and was at the forefront of raw food in Australia at that time.
The segue there for me was that I found that a lot of women, even though I was talking about raw food and live food... For those listeners that don't know just natural fruits and vegetables, like food at its purest form. Even though I would say this is not about diet or dress sizes, this is about fueling your body so that you can show up in the world with the energy to do what it is that you want to do, whatever that is. But I still found that many women at the end of those classes would ask me what has more calories, cucumber or celery?
At first I found it funny, and then after a while it kind of made me angry. Then it made me sad because I realised that so many women were not focusing on how they got to contribute to the world as their full selves. They were more focused on losing the five kilos. That was when I slowly started to shift from, I actually don't want to be putting recipes out into the world anymore. I want to create spaces where women get to show up as who they are and contribute, whether or not they lose the five kilos.
Then from that took me into coaching and coach training and writing always sat alongside all of those things. I suppose speaking I've always had because of the performance side, but I enjoy public speaking in some ways more than I enjoyed acting. Because it really is a privilege to be able to stand on stage as you are, as opposed to taking on a character.
Gillian Fox: Well, I love that background, Kemi. I feel like all those experiences have no doubt contributed to everything that you do today and you and what you do as a coach.
Now, you've written a brilliant book called POWER, such a potent title. And you say in the book it is for those willing to go deep and see who you have been, who you are, and who you are becoming. So tell us a little bit about the five-step framework, POWER being an acronym, and how it is intended to shift our thinking about power and who gets it.
Kemi Nekvapil: Well, it's interesting because I know that some of the listeners, even just hearing that word, may have had a reaction to that word power. And the tagline is A Woman's Guide to Living and Leading Without Apology. I knew that I had to redefine what power has been for most women, that it is, as Dr. Brene Brown talks about this power over model, it's about dominance and for many of us, we don't have that. We don't have an interest in that. And yet it's a power that we see all around us, especially playing on the world stage all the time. It's the form of power that is typically held by cisgendered, white, middle classed men. And so for many of us women and those of us identify as women, we've moved away from it. We have no interest in power because why would we want that? We know the impact of that on us.
And yet what I also know, is that unless women stand in our power, we are missing the opportunities that we have to lead in whatever spaces and places that we find ourselves in. So, I knew I had to redefine it, otherwise why would we want it? The five-word framework was P for presence, O for ownership, W for wisdom, E for equality, and R for responsibility.
I wrote the book with those being the power principles. And then going deep with my own personal stories as a woman, as a Black woman, as a coach, and also with the stories of clients that I have worked with to see what power looks like for different people and also how we give it away. We're very smart as women. We know how to give power away because sometimes it's the way that we stay safe in certain situations.
But the book is about recognising when we give it away, understanding what it takes to build it back, and surrounding ourselves with people that are actually not afraid of our power, but want to ignite and expand our power with and for us.
Gillian Fox: I loved the case studies, Kemi. I also loved the short prompts and questions at the end of all the chapters. I felt like I was being personally coached one-on-one by you. But it did bring it all together because I'm sure you want us to be curious around how we consume this information.
Kemi Nekvapil: Yes. Being a coach, for me it's always about knowing and trusting that the client that I'm speaking with knows what they need to do. They may not give themselves the space to reflect on the questions, and so I wanted to write the book. Some of the topics are very deep topics, and I know that 20 women can pick up this book and they would get 20 different things depending on where they are in their careers, in their lives, their lived experiences.
I even speak in the book about I'm speaking to Anglo women. What is your experience here? And then I speak to women of colour. What is your experience here? And really creating a space where each reader feels safe to explore what power has looked like for them and how they want it to be for them in the future.
Gillian Fox: Yeah. I have to say the story that really stayed with me, Kemi, and I just ruminated for days, was the story of you going into the upmarket bottle shop in Melbourne.
Kemi Nekvapil: Oh, no.
Gillian Fox: But seriously, Kemi, this has just been... I mean really it was such a small story out of so many impactful stories. And just to explain to the listeners this man, I'm going to use the word, treated you suspiciously.
Kemi Nekvapil: That's good. I like that. Yep, yep.
Gillian Fox: And then he sends you directly to the wines on sale section. You just default, as I think most of us would, with that abrupt response to the back of the store. You talk about holding back the tears, unsure what to do next and I couldn't even imagine the hurt in that moment, and I was just profoundly impacted by it. But one of the things I asked myself, because I got very curious about it, I kept thinking about it, was this. And that is, if I was in the store that day, would I have even noticed any of that, Kemi?
It really scared me. It actually really scared me. I do like the back end of the story and I know we're not praising the back end of the story, but it did take a bit of guts, Kemi, to reveal to everyone she grabs the bottle of Veuve Clicquot from the shelf and takes it to the counter to go, "I don't belong down there. This is who I am. I'm the French champagne girl". Then you use your exquisite charm to influence and buy him in, and he's completely intoxicated by you, and you get that inclusive result that you wanted in that moment.
Kemi Nekvapil: Look there, and there's so much there in that story. And thanks for bringing that one out because you said there's a lot of stories in there and no one else I think that have really pulled that story out.
It was just a beautiful day in Melbourne and I wanted to get some wine to go with a meal that I was cooking that night. And yes, he saw me, and he made a judgment on me as a Black person being in that store. Sent me straight to the sales counter, and I knew exactly what was going on. Suspicious because of the color of my skin, so racism, microaggression, whatever you want to call it.
Yes, fighting back the tears and then just thinking, "Do you know what?" And it's interesting because although it's funny, it was also me hustling for my worth. It was also me having to prove to a stranger that I am not who you think I am.
And yes, I did win him over and yes, all of those things, but at the expense of myself and my dignity. I left with my champagne and felt like I've had to do that all my life. I've had to constantly have this feeling of I have to make sure that no one around me feels threatened. That takes its toll. I mean the champagne was great. I mean, Veuve's my favourite.
Gillian Fox: There's a silver lining to every story.
Kemi Nekvapil: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah.
Gillian Fox: Now in the book you say speaking is progress regardless of the outcome, and this is about owning your value, so very much related to the story piece. In your experience, what is stopping women owning their value in the workplace?
Kemi Nekvapil: Oh, such a loaded, complex question. I talk about gender overlays, cultural overlays, ethnic overlays. There are so many overlays that we have to navigate as women around what we are told.
My personal experience was you have to be grateful wherever you are. I'm English, born in England, but fostered to five white families growing up, as many middle-class Nigerian children were, when I was born in the 1970s.
Very much my message around my voice was be grateful, do not cause a fuss, do not speak up, and also do not have any feelings about anything you may be experiencing. This is where we're smart because one, it's a survival technique, but I just thought, okay, so I'm going to be really good. I'm going to be a good Black girl. I know that for many listeners hearing that they will resonate with the good girl bit, even if they don't resonate with the color bit.
Especially there are certain cultures that I work with that I coach with where it's really important, sometimes within the Greek culture, to be a good girl, within the Indian culture to be a good girl. These have an impact in how we show up in the world and how we speak and what we will speak about and when we'll use our voices or not.
It's the same then for depending on what industry we are working in. I have clients that work in tech. Really, really hard for some of those women to have voices in those spaces. But also, so for the women in medicine. Not so much for the women in law, so it is interesting.
There's not one reason why a woman, but I think one thing that joins us all is that we all come from a world where women have been diminished in language, physically, opportunities, since time immemorium. And we hold that with us. Every generation holds all of that.
Gillian Fox: And it takes a lot of conscious behavior, doesn't it, a lot of self-awareness to be able to break some of that conditioning and habits?
Kemi Nekvapil: Yeah, 100%. I'll say, and there's all this thing about actually our power, is that if we weren't powerful, why would there be so many things restricting us? If the patriarchy didn't fear what women has to bring, why would there be so many things restricting us like Wade versus Roe? Why would that be an issue? Why wouldn't we have agency over our own bodies?
There is something that we have, that we hold, especially as a collective, that is so frightening to the patriarchy and that whole structure system that we also have to know that actually there's evidence that we must be powerful. Because otherwise why are they spending so much time trying to keep us small?
Gillian Fox: We just need to believe that more, Kemi.
Kemi Nekvapil: Yeah. I'm also aware as well, I have to be mindful, that some women find themselves in spaces where to speak up is incredibly dangerous for them. I don't think it's as easy as saying, wherever you are, you must own your value. You must own your worth. Because for some, that puts them in physical danger or it puts their career in danger or their opportunities in danger. They don't necessarily have the privilege or the opportunity to just leave. That is where they're always going to be.
Gillian Fox: Yeah, the options aren't available. But I think the other thing is transitioning to that kind of space, not everyone's going to be happy about your change of behavior.
Kemi Nekvapil: Oh, no.
Gillian Fox: You know what I mean? And so you've got to be ready for that discomfort as well because people define you a particular way. Be it the good girl or whatever it might be.
Kemi Nekvapil: Yes, 100%. Power for each woman is very different. I don't talk in the book about personal power or soft power or feminine power. I just say power because I just want us to be able to say that word and own it, but it's going to manifest in different ways.
We can all think of particular women that have really powerful platforms that have a very sense of grounded power, but they're very introverted. They're not loud. They don't self-express in a very out there way. Then there are other women, thank goodness for these women, that are 100% out there. They're out there in their sexuality, they're out there in their voices, they're out there in their advocacy.
It looks different for different women, but what's important is that we can identify for ourselves that the people around us are not always going to understand what's happening, which is what's happened with transition anyway. But we need to find the group of people that do get it and understand that we're moving into something different and that they will be with us and not diminish us.
Gillian Fox: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And one of the things that I suppose is part of that is this idea that you talk about in the book of using the pause. We all love the pause, but equally we've all been guilty of just filling in the silence and nervous rambles, or whatever it might be. I think most people have been guilty of that at some stage.
But you share the story of speaking to a school mum about an altercation in the schoolyard. It was such a super example because as mums, we are hypersensitive about anyone pointing the finger at us when it comes to our babies. You might expand on that and just talk to us about the pause, Kemi.
Kemi Nekvapil: Well, I have to give credit to my mother-in-law, who I love dearly, who worked with children in a kindergarten, has just worked with children and parents for a very long time. And she said to me, "I just need to let you know, not if, but when you get the call from another parent because your child has done something, at whatever stage of age that is, the other mother or parent is going to think their child is in the right. You just have to remember that".
And so taking that advice from my mother-in-law, who I really respect, and I suppose with my coaching and my meditation and yoga, I have a 25-year practice in yoga and meditation. There was something very powerful for me about going into one of the conversations that I had. There was more than one, Gillian, let's be honest. One of my children, a particular stage during developmental, there was more than one call.
I just realised this mom is going to believe that her child is right. And actually it was my child that had caused the issue, so I also had to take responsibility for that. But I wanted it to be very much that we are equal in this conversation. My child today, could be your child tomorrow, and so I didn't want to defend my child or excuse my child. But also check in with the other mum. How is your child and what does your child need? I needed to take my ego out of it and take responsibility in a way that my child couldn't at that point. Because I think they were like six, and obviously then there's that whole parenting thing you make them say so and all those different things. We all have different ways of raising our children around that sort of thing.
But I just knew at the end of it, I wanted her to feel respected, and I wanted to feel respected. I wanted to really pause after she had spoken and I paused before I spoke to her. And so it didn't become a battle of the ego. It just became about is your child okay, is my child okay, and how do we move on from this?
Gillian Fox: You spoke about yoga earlier and meditation, and I know you're a great advocate of wellness. You told me before we get in the podcast, you're having a snooze after this.
Kemi Nekvapil: I am a big advocate for naps. 100%.
Gillian Fox: Tell us about your self-care regime and maintaining a healthy and mind and body. What does that all mean to you? Because you are a very successful businesswoman and you have a lot of different things happening in your business world.
Kemi Nekvapil: Yes, and it is always interesting to me how one's life can look to others from the outside. And we had a bit of a conversation. Gillian said to me, "Oh, I know that you are busy". And I said, "I don't do busy. I'm very committed to the things that I say yes to and so that I can show up for my clients", for example.
It's a privilege to have my own business because I dictate my times and because my wellbeing is very important to me. It's actually one of my three core values is wellbeing. I've created and crafted and curated a business where I get to look after myself in the morning. Because I can then sustainably show up for my clients, for my speaking engagements, for myself when it comes to writing, in a way where I'm full, where I'm full. So, I then have something to give. I can be of service, and it's sustainable.
I remember from a mentor many, many years ago, and I started my business, he said, "Start as you mean to go on". Many people are scared of doing that. They will generally start thinking, I have to hustle at the beginning all the time, and then one day… And that's the same with people in corporate careers. I will ignore my body, ignore my mental health, ignore the messages my body is screaming at me to stop, to slow down, because one day I will retire.
I remember working with a client once and she was on the edge of, and she'd been burnt out before, so I checked in with her. What are your red flags around burnout? So where do you think you are now? She said, "I'm probably either at the beginning of in it or I'm very close", but she said, "but only 10 weeks left of the term". And I was like, "That's a lot of days."
Gillian Fox: Yeah, that's almost three months. Yeah.
Kemi Nekvapil: A lot of days. I said, "So how long would it take you for to be definitely in burnout then in those 10 weeks? What week do you think we're sitting at?" She was probably in about three days. I was like, "Okay." So then the question is for me as a coach, it's not my job to judge and it's not my job to give her advice. My question was, "Tell me why you holding off on looking after your mental health for 10 weeks is the most important thing right now". Her response was, "Oh, there's this project and this".
And so I just checked in with her about the project. By the end of that coaching conversation, she'd agreed to have a couple of conversations where that project could be handed off to a couple of other people. She was going to book in to see her psychiatrist or her therapist, that she hadn't seen for about four months.
It's just those little things. Because generally we all know our limits and if we don't, the limits are coming at some point, and so it’s when do we listen? We don't have to wait until we are on our knees before we say to our partner, to our spouse, I've got teenagers, to our teenagers, "Hey, you need to pick up some slack around here".
I actually raised kids to pick up the slack from a very young age because I believe it takes a family to run a household, not a mother. But these are the things that put in what allows me to be a wellbeing. I don't want to be a mother slamming cupboards, feeling resentful and wondering what I'm doing all the work when I haven't raised children to do some of the work.
Gillian Fox: In the book, you talk about this wonderful insight that being of service to others can be a misaligned goal, and particularly when it comes to women thinking they just have to say yes to everything. They're that go-to person. They have to please, be the doer to succeed and you talk about them feeling like they don't have a choice, and I wholeheartedly agree with that. That is the mental thought process that sits within there, and they find themselves struggling. What would you say to women in that position if you were coaching them, Kemi?
Kemi Nekvapil: Well, if I was coaching, I'd ask them questions rather than tell them. But I think I would share with them, as we've already spoken about, the good girl is a global epidemic. It's global. If we are meant to as women to be a good woman, good daughter, good sister, good wife, good partner, and that is displayed in our doing and our constantly making sure that everyone around us is happy and taken care of and that we're available and that we say yes and we can do all the things, if we know and we've experienced that that is where our worth comes from, if we stop doing those things, it is really confronting to then explore, so if I stop, who am I? If I'm not available to all of these people all of the time, who am I and what is my worth?
Gillian Fox: Yeah, that is such a raw question, isn't it?
Kemi Nekvapil: Yeah.
Gillian Fox: Yeah. Yeah.
Kemi Nekvapil: And everyone else is part of the story and the narrative that women have to do everything as well. It's not something generally that there's a lot of people in our lives going, "You should stop. You should stop, you should stop". But either their narrative is stronger than ours, or our narrative is stronger than theirs. It takes a circuit breaker. And unfortunately for so many women, the circuit breaker is a health crisis.
Gillian Fox: Yeah, yeah. The circuit breaker, I think, for men is when their executives and they lose their big gig, and that whole identity crisis unfolds. And it's exactly the same principle, right? Who am I now?
Kemi Nekvapil: Yeah. I also think if they're men and then they're in a heterosexual marriage, the circuit breaker is when their wife leaves them.
Because the statistics show that it's women that leave men more in marriages. A lot of the men's response is, "I thought we were fine", even though the woman had been saying, "We are not fine." But it's like, "No, we will be fine. I'll just do some more work this big project, then it'll be fine, then we'll go on holiday then..." It's the putting off.
One of the things that I love doing with my clients is values work. Because once we get very, very clear on what we value... And we can't value all the things I joke about, we can't say love or world peace as our values. Let's just say that most people want love and world peace, except for obviously the guy that's just gone to war. But-
Gillian Fox: There's a few of them.
Kemi Nekvapil: There's a few, that's right, exactly. That's right. There's a few of them.
That once we're really clear on what our values are, and once again, it's the confronting personal development work. Because a lot of people will say my family, but then if a fly was on the wall watching them in their day, the fly would be scratching its wings or whatever flies do they have chins scratching their chins going, "Really? You said your family, but actually you've been at work for 14 hours today".
It's not a judgment, it's what I call feedback, so you say the value is family. Or you say your value is your career, but then you are not putting your hand up for the promotion. You are not putting your hand up to be a part of the project. You are not putting your hand up to be part of the team that's probably a little bit more innovative than the team that you are in. We need to look at what we think we value, and then actually are we displaying that through our actions in the workplace, in the home, wherever we find ourselves?
Gillian Fox: Yeah. Yeah, it's so interesting, isn't it? And you see that incongruency a lot with people.
I was really struck by the term in the book that you use: weaponise your privilege. Kemi, you clearly use yours and you make us aware and empower women to make a difference in the world. But what else do we need to do in the workplace to influence or weaponise our privilege?
Kemi Nekvapil: I think it depends. It depends where your privilege sits. I know that as a Black woman in Australia, to be on a stage, that is part of my privilege. I also have economic privilege. I have education privilege, but not higher education privilege. I have location privilege. I live in a major city. I have language privilege. English is my first language.
I ask people in the book to list your privileges. I talk about that I find guilt around privilege really boring, because it is something that we can use to elevate each other instead of pretending we don't have it or getting defensive because we do have it. The definition of privilege in the book, or the Oxford Dictionary definition of privilege, is something you have that you didn't ask for, or something you have that, no matter how hard somebody else tried, they would never have it or it would take them much longer.
So, I was very blessed to be invited to a TEDx talk at the end of last year. That particular TEDx theme was called Beyond the Binary. There were people that spoke on that stage that are living with disabilities, that are neurodivergent, that identify as different pronouns. I learned a lot about what it is the privilege to be able to go to a building and know that I can walk up the stairs and go to the toilet if I want to, and that I'm not in a wheelchair at the bottom of that stairs not knowing what to do.
We can use our voices to elevate the voices of other people around us. For me, I'll stand on stage as an English woman with Nigerian heritage, and I will have Asian women, Indian women, people with disabilities come up to me and say, "Seeing you up there makes me think that maybe I could have a voice, too". That those of us that have marginalised identities it doesn't take much for us to want to see something that is different than what we have told is allowed to be in those spaces.
I think for women that identify as Anglo, as you said, Gillian, that I love, would you have noticed in that bottle shop? Probably not because you don't have to notice it. But then now you have an awareness of it that if you were in that situation that you may or may not decide, it's not your job to necessarily do it, to go to the guy and go, "Why did you send her up the back of the sales? You didn't send me up there. You sent me to the Grange".
Gillian Fox: Absolutely, yeah.
Kemi Nekvapil: It's also looking at there are people around you that do not have... All of us, that when I say you, not you but us. There are people around us all the time that don't have the privileges that we have. If we have the resources, whether it's financial, time, education, location, how do we use our privileges to elevate the power in other people?
It excites me, the idea of weaponising our privileges. I did an interview last year, and it was an Anglo guy that was interviewing me. He said, "I know that as a white male, I need to stand back and allow other people to speak. I need to listen more and stand back". I said, 'Listening more is great. Standing back, not helpful. Stand alongside me because there are certain things that your privilege is if you speak on my behalf, and I ask you to, that there are things that your privilege could actually do for me or with me or that we can co-create together". If you stand back, I'm out there on my own.
Gillian Fox: Kemi, there's another book, weaponize your privilege, obviously. And all the corporates need to read it, all of them. I feel like it could be a toolkit for a lot of the micro behaviors that happen in the meeting room, and all those sort of things that where we can really elevate each other in such a beautiful way.
Kemi Nekvapil: Yeah, and that's the thing that saddens me is that it can be a really igniting force. But what isn't, is people hiding behind it or getting defensive when they are told you have privileges and it's like, "No, no. Well, I was born poor". It's like, okay, so you didn't have economic privilege as a child. But right now you live in a nice suburb, you've worked hard, and you have your own business. Maybe you want to hire an entrepreneur that has a background that you came from, sorry an apprentice, that had... There are different ways.
It's not saying that your life was easy all the time or that you were skipping through meadows all the time. It just means there are things you have that other people will never have. How can you assist them in some way?
Gillian Fox: Yeah. I think it's accessible to everyone regardless. Title in an organisational, it's not exclusive to the affluent part of our-
Kemi Nekvapil: No.
Gillian Fox: ... community. Because in Australia, most people have a pretty awesome life anyway.
Kemi Nekvapil: Well, except for if you're First Nations.
Gillian Fox: Yes. Yes, that's a disaster.
Kemi Nekvapil: Yeah, that is not the case. And also if you are a woman over 55 and you found yourself in a divorce or single, and then how many homeless women are streets at middle age?
Gillian Fox: Those statistics are terrifying.
Kemi Nekvapil: But globally? 100%. If you identify in a particular way and have certain privileges in Australia, we're up there globally, but there are a lot of issues in Australia.
Gillian Fox: Yeah. Yeah, we do, Kemi. You're absolutely right. What do you want people to do differently after reading this wonderful book?
Kemi Nekvapil: Oh, what do I want? Probably have a nap. I think a nap, probably.
Gillian Fox: Sounds good.
Kemi Nekvapil: Have a nap, have a cup of tea, and eat a nice piece of cake.
As I mentioned earlier, I know that every person that chooses to read this book will understand exactly what it is that they need to do to either take ownership of their power, reclaim their power, or step into their power. There are 26 power processes. Within those power processes, everyone has something to take away.
I have had so much feedback from people. I even actually had, he was a beautiful man, and he identified straight away in the email, "Hi, Kemi. My name is Peter. I'm a 65-year-old Anglo man living in Perth. I've raised three daughters and a son". He gave me his whole thing. And he said, "This book has changed my life. Because I always thought that I was very open and inclusive, but I realised there are certain areas that I have blind spots. The book allowed me to see them without me feeling judged or without me feeling like I was a bad person". We actually stayed in correspondence for a little while. He was lovely.
I've also had other people just come to me and say, "I am going to ask for that promotion," or, "I am going to ask for that raise," or, "I'm actually going to move out of this industry because I just cannot... My power is always being diminished, so I'm going to do my own thing". I've worked with my own clients that leaders, founders, CEOs that have said, "I had no idea that this was something that I could actually impact, and it is actually something that I'm going to actually table for the next board meeting. This is something that I am committed to and I'm going to put my power behind".
It's a book I wanted to capture as many different people's experiences as I could, which is why there are 13 client stories, so that everyone can get something for themselves in it.
Gillian Fox: Yeah, I think you've done an extraordinary job, Kemi. I think it's so beautiful and I honestly think it's the sort of book that you could pick up and read every year and get something completely new.
Kemi Nekvapil: Yeah, 100%. But I think that's a good thing, isn't it? But that's a great thing about personal development. I actually read, although it's written as fiction, I think I read The Alchemist every two years. I highlight every year what I take from it, and it changes. There's not much space. I probably need to get another copy now. Because I believe in magic and I believe in charting our own courses with the obstacles, not instead of. No one's path is ever straight. I just think there are certain books.
I think that's the thing about coaching when it's done well, is that we will always, we can self-coach ourselves. I believe in self-coaching. That's why the questions are in there so that we can ask ourselves the important questions.
Gillian Fox: Yeah. Kemi, where can people find you?
Kemi Nekvapil: They can find me on Instagram. They can find me on my podcast, The Shift Series, which is like mini coaching sessions, so people get an idea and I'm very excited that I'll be launching a podcast original with Audible. But yeah, but that's where I am at my website. I'd love for people to come and say-
Gillian Fox: And what's your website?, Kemi? Say your website.
Website is my name, so K-E-M-I, and then N-E-K-V for Victor, A-P-I-L.com.
Gillian Fox: Yeah. Wonderful, wonderful. Well, you should go check it out. There's so much goodness, and you run some fantastic programs as well that people can look out for. But Kemi, it has been such a pleasure and a delight. Thank you so much for joining me in this conversation today. I've loved it.
Kemi Nekvapil: Me too. Thank you so much, Gillian. Take care.
Thank you for joining me today. I would love to give you something for free to help you with your career.
It’s my guide on How to say no at work. It’s perfect for the people-pleasers and if you like the idea of learning how to say no, gracefully and honestly and in a variety of work situations, then you’ll love this guide.
It includes 6 scripts on how to say no without compromising your reputation. This is the sort of thing you want to quietly put in your career development toolkit and pull it out when you need it. Click the link in the description or go to www.yourbrilliantcareer.com.au/how-to-say-no.