Emerging Leader Spotlight: Sophie Miller Chatfield

Every month we ask an emerging leader we admire to share what she is doing to take the lead in her career. We invite her to share how she achieved her current position, what obstacles she encountered on her climb, as well as tips for how to be a rising woman of influence. This month we shine the Emerging Leader Spotlight on Sophie Miller Chatfield, who has recently moved to the United States from Australia.

Sophie Miller picFavorite leadership quote: “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” Warren Bennis

What is your leadership style? My leadership style is very egalitarian.  I think that people will only listen to and follow someone they respect, so the key is to create a relationship based on mutual respect and communication.

When I communicate with people, I am clear and direct with both positive and negative feedback and encourage people to be the same with me. I firmly believe that when making and implementing a decision that will affect the lives of others, there has to be clear explanation, a forum for debate, and buy in from the affected parties in order for it to be truly successful.

Above all, I am a humble leader. I am quick to ask for help and admit mistakes so that I can continue to evolve my leadership skills to benefit the entire group.

What is the next step you plan to take in your career to develop your leadership skills? I have just left my previous position as 2IC (second-in-command) of a group of paralegals to immigrate to NYC, so I am in a transitional stage of my career.

I am currently looking for a new job and have been interviewing at various corporate firms, finance firms, and start-ups. Moving to the United States has been a huge learning curve for me because there is a cultural difference in terms of leadership styles between Australia and America.  I am absorbing everything that is thrown at me and amending my leadership and social skills to (hopefully) incorporate the best of both styles.

I am learning to be more direct and decisive. I’m learning to listen more closely to what people want and need. The next step after this will be to put all of these new techniques and social observations into practice.

What are some top tips you can recommend to other women who want to be recognized as a high potential emerging leader? One tip is to say ‘yes’ to a challenge. Remember, you really have nothing to lose by pushing yourself further.

Another is to accept that you and those around you will make mistakes.

Finally, you need to learn to accept any blame with grace and professionalism, even if you feel that it is unjustified. This will set you apart from the majority.


Sophie, you are a gem! We wish you much success as you take on “The Big Apple”. With your sincere straightforward and direct leadership point of view, you are assured to be a huge asset to any company. All the best!

Ann Roushar

Ann joined Women’s Leadership Coaching, Inc. as Operations Manager in 2011. Her background is in events and program management, however, with the launch of Be Leaderly, Ann has discovered a new passion for the communications side of the business, including blogging, social media and graphic design. Ann’s vision for this blog is to make it a “must have” resource for women in business, a virtual space where women can feel comfortable about sharing their career wins, woes or worries. Follow @ann_roushar on Twitter.

25 Questions to Ask a Mentor

Whenever I’m asked “What are some of the best questions to ask a ...

Four Types of Questions To Ask Your Mentor

Have conversations with your mentor gotten a bit repetitive lately? Perhaps you approached ...

25 Songs For Your Leadership Playlist

What are your all-time favorite leadership songs — the ones that make you ...

How to Shut Down a Colleague Who Takes Credit for Your Work

Has this ever happened to you? You’re in a meeting and the unthinkable ...

5 Ways to be a Leader, Not a Manager

Have you ever wondered about the difference between a manager and a leader? ...

11 Leadership Lessons Learned

Here are 11 lessons I’ve learned about leadership—mostly from much-admired colleagues, and just ...

10 Killer Leadership Skills: The Great Differentiators?

Last week at Hallmark I hosted a couple gentlemen from a partner company. ...

100 Leadership Qualities

What are your leadership strengths? That’s a question I ask in a survey ...

Influencing Without Authority—Using Your Six Sources of Influence

I am in the difficult situation of being unofficial project lead, responsible for ...

9 Traits of Exceptional Leaders

Truly great leaders are hard to come by, but it seems everyone thinks ...

If You’re Not Seizing Stretch Assignments at Work, You’re Doing It Wrong.
If You’re Not Seizing Stretch Assignments at Work, You’re Doing It Wrong.

 These bonus opportunities have the power to boost your leadership cred and wholly transform your

The Case for Why Millennial Women Should Job-Hop
The Case for Why Millennial Women Should Job-Hop

There are strong arguments for and against the debated practice, but for millennial women, job-hopping

Infographic: How to Slay a Stretch Assignment
Infographic: How to Slay a Stretch Assignment

Recent years have been full of talk about how to elevate women at work. Have you

Panel Presentations: Does Speaker Order Really Matter?
Panel Presentations: Does Speaker Order Really Matter?

On speaker panels, does the panelist order matter? If you’ve ever attended or spoken on

4 Tips for Failing Forward
4 Tips for Failing Forward

After you make a mistake, it’s easy to focus intently on your defects. And then

Press Release: Be Leaderly’s Selena Rezvani Wins 2019 Croly Award for Excellence in Journalism
Press Release: Be Leaderly’s Selena Rezvani Wins 2019 Croly Award for Excellence in Journalism

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa—July 9, 2019—The General Federation of Women’s Clubs is pleased to honor Selena

4 Steps to a Flexible Work Arrangement
4 Steps to a Flexible Work Arrangement

Are you hungry for a little more flexibility in your day?  If so, you’re not

Dealing with a Bossy Coworker
Dealing with a Bossy Coworker

You might expect the occasional “order” or “command” from your boss. But it’s a whole

Press Release: Be Leaderly Wins Gold & Silver at the 2019 Stevie Awards
Press Release: Be Leaderly Wins Gold & Silver at the 2019 Stevie Awards

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa—June 11, 2019—Be Leaderly, a globally recognized provider of women’s leadership development and

15 Questions to Ask Before Taking a Stretch Assignment
15 Questions to Ask Before Taking a Stretch Assignment

Stretch assignments are like the Instant Pot of career development. An intensely challenging, ambitious, go-big-or-go-home

Ask Jo: How can I thank my mentor?

Question: I have an incredible mentor. She ...

Teamwork is a Skill. It Takes Practice!

Everyone wants to lead, or be a ...

It’s Worth the Risk (I promise)

This is Sarah. She’s one of my ...

100 Leadership Qualities

What are your leadership strengths? That’s a ...

Leaderly Quote: Great Leaders Know When to Step Aside

“Great leaders know when to step aside.” ...

At Be Leaderly, our mission is a simple one: To provide proven career strategies that help you lead, climb, and thrive as a rising woman of influence. If you’re ready to lead, we’re here to support and inspire you.

Copyright 2019, Be Leaderly