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  • Writer's pictureAmii Barnard-Bahn

🔨 That time I got smacked down...

Updated: Mar 7

Have you ever been on top at work, and then blown it?

I’d been at an organization for several years, loved it, and had two C-suite sponsors at the top. When a reorganization came and swept them both off to other opportunities, I didn’t appreciate how vulnerable that made me.

Oh, and then there was my ego. I had become too comfortable. I had been named top 20 in the company a few years prior, and was riding high.

I thought I could surf the wave of my many years of experience, credibility, and results in the business. I was confident, even arrogant, when my new boss took the reins.

I didn’t warm to her, and listened to my inner rebel. I missed my old boss and the way things used to be.

It didn’t take long for me to get smacked down, hard. My peer was promoted over me, a function was taken away from me, and I was assigned additional work responsibilities I hadn’t done in years.

For a whole year, it felt like I was working under a thick cloud cover where I couldn’t see the path forward. I had two young daughters, no “FU” money, and was determined to avoid a resume gap — so I sucked it up and stayed. I took time to reflect, patch up my bruised ego, and regroup.

The whole experience taught me humility and grace. It was a long twelve months, but the hard work catapulted me to a C-suite role in another industry.

What would you tell your younger self? What mistakes have you made that ultimately served you?

I spoke about this learning moment, and how to navigate unwanted change on the “Go! Reboot Your Life” podcast with Lisa Thee. I smile to myself now when I think of how naïve I was, so lacking in awareness of the power system.

And I’ve distilled these and other lessons learned for you in my Fast Company article, So, you got a new boss. Don’t make these common mistakes.

In the News

Who doesn’t want to Desuckify Work? In a recent chat, podcast host TJ Bennett and I cover a range of the big topics on everyone's mind — CEO priorities, public heroes and zeros, layoffs, and how to continue to grow your career — whether you're aiming for that big promotion or you want to stay engaged, learning and employable. Listen in and subscribe to get some awesome desuckify energy from TJ — plus cool sound effects from his cats.

Kamrin Huban hosted me on her plucky podcast, 50, Not Dead. Tackling the challenges faced by senior women in corporate settings, we discussed gender, ageism, and the power dynamics of layoffs. Ever the optimist, I shared a hopeful outlook on macroeconomic forces driving positive changes for women in their 50s and 60s.

Early last month, I presented to the Financial Times Women in Business Asia Forum on demystifying the path to promotability and provided actionable insights that will help to propel them in their career growth.

And in late February, I met with the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Women in the House network on the art of giving and receiving feedback. It was a powerful interactive discussion on how to constructively deliver feedback, receive feedback gracefully, and cultivate a coaching culture.

Upcoming Events

Every year I invest in learning the latest in neuroscience and upleveling my coaching skills, so this year I’m packing my bags for Boston to connect, listen, and learn at the Harvard Institute of Coaching Conference in May. If you’ll be there, reach out so we can connect live.

I’ll be headed to New York City in June to lecture at the Practising Law Institute’s Compliance and Ethics Essentials Forum, sharing best practices in Program and Risk Assessment. Designed for compliance & ethical culture leads in organizations, this two-day forum will provide the tools you need to support effective risk management and drive change. Join us!

Stay Strong and Stay Connected

We’re living through a powerful change curve. I work with organizations to provide one-on-one leadership coaching, run team alignments, and speak in big conference rooms.  Think that might be useful?  Reach out!

To your success,


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