S01Ep6 – Prioritise Your Passions and Learn To Say ‘No’

Paul Smith

Episode 6 was a first for this podcast as I’d never met my guest, Penelope Tremlow. That didn’t matter as we got stuck straight into her passions, her work ethic (Penelope has to be one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met!) and her journey from the Australian Defence Force to her portfolio career as an executive and non-executive.

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Penelope has a lengthy list of positions and accolades. Just a few include:

  • CEO, Energy Skills Queensland
  • Project and Change Manager, Glencore
  • Co-Founder and Chairperson, Women In Power
  • Ambassador, White Ribbon Australia
  • 2016 Queensland Telstra Businesswoman of the Year (Social Enterprise & Not-For-Profit)
  • 2016 APAC Insider CEO of the Year

Penelope spent almost 11 years in the Australian Defence Force before transitioning to a ‘civilian life’. Whilst the myriad of skills and qualifications she’d built up in the ADF didn’t directly transfer, she was able to lean on a few key mentors that helped her apply the abilities she’d developed and quickly climb the ranks. In recent years, she has flourished, winning multiple awards and being appointed to new positions.

In this episode, we dive into topics such as:

  • The current ‘No’ crisis
  • How we can avoid being pulled in too many different directions
  • How to be more selective in our approach to what we choose to do (or more importantly, NOT do)
  • Giving others the ability to step up and take on greater responsibility
  • Tools and tips for time management & productivity
  • Scheduling time for yourself to clear your mind and get some space to do some thinking
  • How her medically-diagnosed insomnia has helped her think strategically and put new plans into action
  • The TRUE role of a CEO (hint: it doesn’t begin until 5:30pm when everyone else has gone home)
  • The importance of professional mentors and advisors
  • Breaking out of your pigeon hole and broadening your experience
  • And much more!

Actions you can take:

  1. When you have time to yourself, you not only have the freedom to think and strategise, but you also have the ability to start putting things into action and build some momentum leading into the next day”. Schedule time for yourself to clear your mind and get some space to do some thinking.
  2. Mentors were a key for me in getting my first board role”. Surround yourself with mentors and advisors who want to help you on your journey, because they believe in you.
  3. Your job as CEO doesn’t start until 5:30 when everyone else has gone home”. During the day you’re directing and delegating as per usual, but the true strategic thinking and the true operational requirements actually start after 5:30 when everyone else has gone home. 

Find Penelope:

Women In Power
White Ribbon Australia
2016 Telstra Business Woman of the Year