Rina Goldenberg Lynch is the Founder and Managing Director at training specialist Voice at The Table. She offers 20 years of experience as a City lawyer and executive and brings with her the wealth of skills that a corporate career imparts. In recent years, She has been working on diversity and inclusion matters, helping develop D&I strategy and initiatives. She has also been coaching and mentoring women in the corporate, not-for-profit and entrepreneurial sectors with great success.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
No I didn’t, although I do think it’s a good idea to do that. I did what most women do – I went with the flow. With a few noteworthy exceptions (like the moment in time when I decided to become a lawyer or to move to London), I just did what looked good at the time. In hindsight, if I had planned a bit better, I probably would have come across more opportunities and mentors. It’s good to have a plan, and it’s good to be flexible about it.
Use the plan like a SatNav – always know that you’ll get there but feel free to use your own discretion to turn off for a stop on the way or a diversion.
Have you faced any challenges along the way and if so, how did you deal with them?
Of course! My challenges were initially passing the relevant tests, getting through interviews, and finding the job that I wanted. Later on, when I had settled into a career, the challenges were around ability to influence others. This is something I am still working on and find that the more passionate you are about the subject matter, the easier it is to influence others on it.
What advice would you give someone who wishes to move in to a leadership position for the first time?
I have three morsels of advice: (1) In the words of Oscar Wilde: Be Yourself! Everyone else is already taken! (2) Live and Let Live – be kind to others and they will return the favour and (3) Enjoy the stories of others – the best way to get to know people is take a keen interest in them! A great way to expand one’s network as well.
When faced with two equally-qualified candidates, how would you decide who should have the role?
‘Equally qualified’ to me means that they have the same technical abilities. I would then look at what soft skills and other skills they bring. Would they fill a diversity gap on the team? Do their special skills/outlook/preferences complement/supplement those of the rest of the team? Diversity to me is the spice of life and that’s also how I would recruit.
How do you manage your own boss?
As I run my own business, my own boss is time and family. I have become ruthless with time management to ensure that my other boss – my family – get what they want and need from me as well. Influencing is a key skills in this regard – and like I said, I’m still working on it!
On a typical workday, how do you start your day and how does it end?
I don’t have a typical day. The only consistency is that I get up at 5am, have about 2 hours of catch up on my own, and then it’s meetings, planning, calls, Business Development, all the way into the evenings in most cases. Then I collapse into bed and sleep for my 7 hours!
What advice can you give to our members about raising their profiles within their own organisations?
Speak up! Always speak your mind. If your messages aren’t landing like you’d like them, then get some coaching/mentoring on this aspect.
How have you benefited from coaching or mentoring?
Yes from both and believe that each one of us should take advantage of both. Coaching is perfect at junctures in our lives. Mentoring is more of a consistent helper.
Do you think networking is important and if so, what 3 tips would you give to a newbee networker
Yes very important. (1) Don’t bey shy; say ‘hello’! (2) Ask to hear their story before telling your won (3) Be curious and interested. Give before you receive.
What does the future hold for you?
I hope that my work with Voice At The Table will make a small difference to the world of work and transform cultures to be more inclusive, collaborative, transparent, flexible and vulnerable. All businesses can learn from what we refer to as ‘feminine leadership traits’ and embrace them as an opportunity and business growth strategy.
I hope that our work will empower women to step up, speak up, take charge and contribute authentically as women. That is what I hope the future holds for me, and until we’re there, I will have to continue to play my part in this ambition.