Corporate Lawyer and business leader Nicola Gannon is persistent, ambitious and passionate.
Starting out as a lawyer in 2004, she has worked for all types of law firms big and small. She’s done wills and estates, commercial law, local government and even property law.
Working in-house is where Nicola feels most at home. “It’s where I love to be,” says Nicola. “There’s always a wide variety of work and the opportunity to think pragmatically. The commercial environment is constantly moving and evolving which makes it challenging and dynamic.”
Nicola has been with Craveable Brands for the past four years. She handles the legal side of the business – including leasing stores and supporting franchisees. She also manages the legal team support staff.
Growing up, Nicola watched as her mum delicately balanced parenting with building a career. “She showed me that a woman can choose family and career so that always seemed possible to me,” says Nicola.
Now a mother of four herself, Nicola admits that she is working on her own balance. Along with managing a busy household, Nicola is in the midst of completing a renovation of her home. “I have been prioritising exercise and sleep for the last couple of months. That helps with my stress levels and mental health,” she says. “I love to work on my house doing DIY. If I’m not taxi-ing the kids around to sports, I like to walk through the bush or on the beach.”
Leadership to Nicola involves mentoring, inspiring and advocating for colleagues and staff. She wants to see that they’re enabled to be their best – both at work and at home. Nicola believes women are constantly balancing perception bias. “Female leaders have to walk a tightrope between being assertive and decisive without being perceived as bossy or rude,” she says.
But women can be championed by ensuring that they have mentors and are encouraged to develop for the next step in their careers, says Nicola. “We need to encourage women to apply anyway and not wait until they have all the criteria! Diversity in business brings diverse thinking and opportunity for growth.”
Nicola believes that great leaders need vision and courage to see what’s possible and to seek it. “Leaders need to balance that with being able to listen and empathise so they can understand the needs of their staff,” says Nicola.
For anyone looking to take the next step and jump into a leadership position, Nicola has simple advice – “Go for it!”