Going Up the Business Ladder with a Balanced Lifestyle with Vikki Williams

When you’re trying to reach your goals, you can get lost at times and prioritise one thing over the other. However, according to Vikki Wiliams, you can have a successful career while keeping your personal life intact. She also added how being vulnerable with your colleagues can strengthen your connection with one another, which can ease workflow. 

In today’s episode, Vikki talks to us about her journey to success and how she balances work and family life. She also shares her proudest moments that will inspire you. Finally, Vikki talks about the importance of mentorship in her professional life and why supporting other people’s careers is valuable to her. 

If you think you have to sacrifice one part of your life to succeed, this episode may help shift your perspective.

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. How can you balance work and career like Vikki?
  2. Learn more about Vikki’s journey to success and the importance of vulnerability in working relationships. 
  3. Find out how the COVID-19 pandemic transformed Vikki’s business and why mentoring others is important for her.  


Episode Highlights

[2:27] Vikki’s Top Three Pompom Moments

  • Being the first person in her extended family to go to university is one of Vikki’s proudest moments. 
  • She is also proud that the people she mentored went on to become successful in their career and personal lives. 
  • Finally, seeing her two children flourish is a personal triumph for Vikki. 

[5:18] Balancing Work and Motherhood

  • Vikki credits her other half for being supportive and sharing the collective workload inside the household. Having an extended family that lives close by also helped them tremendously.
  • It helps to let go of perfectionism, be flexible, and feel comfortable around not always being able to do everything.

[7:01] On Mentorship and Helping Other People’s Careers

  • She had incredible mentors and coaches when she was starting to go up the business ladder. In that, she understands its importance in developing your career and leadership style. 
  • She always wants to make sure that she’s available to give support to other people. It allows her to pay forward the guidance of those who had helped her move forward in her career.  
  • Mentorship enabled Vikki to be more confident, behave professionally, receive certain skill sets, and pick herself up through challenges. 

[9:19] Vikki’s Aspirations When She Was Young

  • When Vikki was young, she showed an interest in becoming a nurse and an archaeologist. It is due to her curiosity and desire for learning new cultures. 
  • According to her, she didn’t set out to be a leader in business or financial services. Although it was not part of her plan, she’s grateful to where she is right now. 
  • She always wants to challenge herself and discover new things. This drive led her to a job in a contact centre, where she found her niche and developed her aspiration to step into leadership roles.  

[10:43] Vikki’s Journey into Taking Leadership Roles

  • Working in the contact centre gave Vikki enthusiasm and energy to work hard. It eventually paid off when she was asked to take on larger roles. Listen to the full episode to learn how small leadership positions upgraded Vikki’s career later on!
  • Her drive to take on leadership roles came from challenging and opening herself up to new experiences.
  • Vikki advises everyone to step into opportunities and be courageous. Be comfortable in not having all the knowledge and information at your hand.  

[13:49] Transforming the Business to Cope with the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Importance of Vulnerability

  • Although it has been challenging, they’re also feeling energised about the changes they’ve been able to create in the business. 
  • Listen to the full episode to know in detail the transformations that occurred in their operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.  
  • Vikki makes sure that everyone on her team has the space and time to feel their emotions. 
  • Demonstrating vulnerability as a leader helps people feel accessible to you and understand that they can be flexible as well. 

[18:07] How Vikki Takes Care of Herself and Her Wellbeing

  • Vikki practices the ‘eight weeks on and two weeks off’ method. It allows her to have a week day-off from work every eight or nine weeks.
  • She energises and takes care of herself by being active, cooking, listening to music, and connecting to nature. She gardens and grows vegetables. 
  • For Vikki, it’s important to balance hard work and the mental part of being a leader. 
  • Vikki compartmentalises her tasks — doing them little and often. For her, it’s essential not to try and do everything all at once because it can get overwhelming and unsustainable.

[22:26] Handling Stress

  • To handle stress, Vikki takes half an hour during her lunchtime to take a quick walk and get some sunlight. Talking to others and leaning on her team also relieves her stress and brings things into perspective.
  • Early in her career, Vikki learned that she can’t do everything and must work in partnership with the people around her.   

[26:32] Adversities that Shaped Vikki’s Success

  • The challenges Vikki had to overcome led her to become resilient. 
  • When faced with adversity, Vikki reminds herself to work out the psychology of the organisation, be objective, and depersonalise situations. 

[30:08] Vikki’s Secret to Success

  • For her, the secret to success can vary from person to person. However, it’s crucial to maintain a growth mindset and be open to possibilities. 

5 Powerful Quotes

[3:49] ‘I really believe in investing in other people, and giving them time, and giving them support and guidance if needed’.

[5:39] ‘It’s about juggling things and also feeling relaxed and comfortable around not always being able to do everything’.

[7:25] ‘I wanted to make sure, and I still do make sure, that I am available to other people to give them that support as well. Because I don’t think I would be where I am today without some of those people who’ve been involved in my career’.

[11:27] ‘I guess what’s really driven me the whole time is making sure that I’m challenging myself and opening myself up to new experiences’. 

[17:26] ‘Vulnerability is around just demonstrating that there’s no ‘Shiny Vikki,’ I’m just normal. And I think demonstrating that as a leader does help people feel accessible [to you]’.

About Vikki

Vikki Williams is currently the Director of Change and Operations at Nationwide Building Society. She is an impactful and dynamic senior leader with her experience of leading diverse teams. Through her skills and working collaboratively, Vikki steers change in challenging business, cultural, and organisational setup.

If you want to connect with Vikki, you can visit her LinkedIn for more information. 

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To defining success,