Female Leader Shona Rowan

Female Leader, Shona Rowan, Performance & Mindset Consultant

Shona Rowan is a Performance and Mindset Consultant, who works across Europe and Australia helping organisations to develop their talent, retain clients and unlock peak performance. She’s also worked extensively across male dominated industries developing gender balance and promoting diversity and inclusion.

Shona draws on her professional qualifications in Psychology, Hypnotherapy and NLP and lessons from her career in professional development, as well as applying techniques from her experience as a world-ranked Ballroom and Latin American dancer to coach others on succeeding in competitive environments. A sought after coach and inspirational speaker, Shona has devoted over 25 years to the study and practice of peak performance.

Tell us what a Performance and Mind-Set Consultant does.

My role as a performance and mind-set consultant involves helping organisations, teams and individuals unlock potential, sharpen performance and maximise their success.

Specific results I help my clients achieve include:

  • Boosting individual, team and organisational performance
  • Fast tracking the development of specific groups of staff
  • Attracting and retaining clients
  • Supporting gender balance: Helping develop and retain female staff and build inclusive workplaces
  • Enhanced communication skills to improve impact, influence, confidence and leadership

I help my clients achieve these results via my practical peak performance workshops, bespoke behaviour change programs, large inspirational events and private coaching sessions.

You’ve worked for 15 years across Europe and Australia, with many long-term clients. How did you build an international career?

I have always been fascinated with the world of psychology, professional development and peak performance, and I always knew I wanted to work both locally and internationally. So, in early 2006 I packed up my life in Perth and headed to London to try my luck in a big city. I had previously worked in professional development at Curtin University for 5 years, but I knew I wanted to gain international experience as a speaker and consultant, and work with people in different countries.

When I first moved to the UK, I initially worked for a coaching company in central London where I gained a huge amount of experience working for companies including Ernst and Young, HSBC, Bank of America and RBS. About 18 months later in 2008, I took a huge leap of faith and decided to launch my own training, coaching and consulting business in London.

I could never have dreamed that things would go the way they have gone and mostly through word of mouth referrals and a building long term relationships with my amazing clients. I am now based out of Perth and work across Australia and internationally.

You were ranked 6th in the world as a Ballroom and Latin American Dancer and represented Australia in 12 different countries. What skills did you learn that transferred to your business endeavours?

So many! As a competitive ballroom dancer, we were training and rehearsing 6 days a week to compete at competitions both locally and internationally. From my teenage years, I learned the importance of things like goal setting, practice, focus, resilience, confidence, personal impact, self-awareness, and our own psychology and mindset in driving success.

Many of the principles of high performance that I learned as a dancer also apply to success in business.

What are the most common barriers holding people back from achieving peak performance, and how can they overcome them?

We all have our own unique barriers and blocks to success, but some common barriers I see with my clients are around their mind-set and psychology.  I spend a huge amount of time helping my clients learn the “psychology of success” and how to develop a peak performing mind-set.  Many people need support dealing with common fears, or a lack of focus, boosting their resilience or confidence, or in removing unhelpful thoughts and deeply held beliefs.

I also see many people struggle with a lack of clarity around their specific goals, or a lack of awareness of their unique strengths and development areas. Most people need support or coaching to assist with identifying their blind spots and where they should focus their energies and attention to improve their results.

Similarly, I see a lot of people who believe their hard work is the most important thing – without realising the importance of building a strong internal and external network, or building a strong personal brand.

Advice for future female leaders?

My piece of advice for future female leaders would be to believe in yourself, drop perfectionism, focus on the things you can control, and leverage your unique strengths. To quote Sheryl Sandberg “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”


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Posted by Jade Collins - Femeconomy Director

Jade Collins has 20 years’ global experience in corporate executive Human Resources and management consulting roles in the Mining, Energy and Aerospace industries, leading large scale, complex multi-million-dollar change management programs. Jade finds the combination of her HR, Psychology and MBA qualifications and her leadership experience is invaluable for increasing gender equality in leadership across industries. Jade was a member of the Queensland Government's Strategic Advisory Group for the Toward Gender Parity: Women on Boards Initiative and the 2019 CQU Alumni of the Year for Social Impact for her work with Femeconomy.