Updated: Dec 16, 2020
When you decide to hire a coach, it means you reach the level of self-awareness that allows you to recognise that the biggest progress will not be made alone.
I’d reached that point exactly 1 year ago in November 2018.
Career success has never really been an issue for me. I can rattle off a list of achievements as long as my arm and I can reflect on all of the things I have done with relative ease, but one year ago I still wasn’t satisfied. Perhaps it was because I had achieved the last goal that I had set, which was to work for professional services firm.
Despite outward success and all the inner work that I have been doing for the last decade I still felt that there was something missing. I had just returned from an Accelerated Leadership Challenge that was intended to put me on the path to becoming a Vice President at the firm and although I had mapped out a number of possible paths forward within the firm, there was little real interest within the firm for what I was interested in creating.
Truth be told, in hiring a coach I didn’t exactly know what to expect, but what I got was exactly what I needed and the results have been extraordinary.
My Coach, Nathan Seaward, has helped me to create an extraordinary life. Many people might find a coach in a directory, I found mine on Instagram. I’d like to believe it was an accident but in this funny old world we live in, I know that working with Nathan was no accident.
In the last year I’ve not only changed what I do, but I have also significantly changed how I look at life, and how I am being.
So what has been possible in this last year?
I set an ambitious goal for Nathan to help me find that piece that I thought was missing in my heart in relation to my work. It was an ambitious goal because even I didn’t know what it was.
Through twice monthly calls Nathan helped me to explore areas of my life that I want to work on. Although we talked about the possibility of me changing my work and the work that I do, I didn’t expect that in one year I be on the edge of an entirely new career that keeps me working late into the night through motivation not obligation.
The new career is really just the beginning. What I realised by hiring a coach, was that what I was really doing in my work was being a coach to others and what I am really good at is cultivating skills in organisations and individuals through training, development and consultancy. For the past decade I have been uniquely developing my teams, building strong relationships with them and seeing a potential few others saw. Master Coach Rich Litvin says that before it was called coaching, it was called leadership. That resonates strongly for me.
This realisation opened up a world of possibilities, because finally I had a name and a framework for what I was really doing in my job. It also gave me an avenue to bring together all of the wisdom work I have been studying and practicing for the last decade, and combining into I coherent whole for the first time. Coaching can be a career and it can be a tool that Leaders use in their career. As a consultant, I like the latter and with some new found flexibility, I am able to do both.
In the past year, I continued to work full time but I also ticked off a lot of goals:
Completed a five month branding course to discover who I am. If you saw the website I had produced a year ago, you probably wouldn't have spoken to me
Finished an intense face to face Coaching Course to prepare me for ICF Accreditation as well as a Post-Graduate Certificate in Coaching with Chester University
Coached more than 180 hours with my clients, leaving me only a few hours away from ICF Accreditation
Delivered a workshop on team leadership at an International Conference in the USA
Delivered a workshop on team leadership at a National Conference in the U.K.
Connected to my deeper purpose and mission, and shared that with my digital world
Went to a business incubator retreat in Lake Tahoe and mapped out a leadership course and retreat program which are now in development
Co-created a retreat experience with another coach which will be delivered in June next year. I have been planning this for 2 years but hadn’t managed to launch it
Offered and delivered a paid workshop on coaching at a National Conference in the U.K.
Created the right number of clients to fit into the time I had available
Shifted a number of beliefs that were holding me back from taking positive steps forward, and
Uncovered some big areas in my life that weren’t working (and that I had been ignoring), and started to work on them.
That’s all the stuff.
The bigger shifts are much deeper, longer lasting and harder to describe. The best words I have are that I’m more resilient, grounded and confident. From being very shy in front of a camera, I’m now making video updates and posting them on social media. Part way through the year I also realised that I lead an extraordinary life, and I have no intention of changing that! If anything I intend on making it even more extraordinary.
Through my Coach, I became connected to an incredible community of other coaches and in some cases, Nathan’s other clients. Some of these people have become my friends and colleagues.
So, one year later I can see the tangible benefits of working with a Coach in creating possibilities I had barely dared to dream about.
What could you achieve with a Coach? Email me, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.
My shorter video update is available at this link.