For over 30 years you have consistently worked in tier 1 organisations leading their rebranding and repositioning within their respective global markets. How does this experience assist individuals you now coach?
I come to coaching from a senior business background, including board level. My sector expertise spans legal, financial and insurance services. I honed my leadership style, people management, business development and marketing skills over 30 years of working in the City of London. This experience means that I have first-hand knowledge of the challenges that many professionals may be facing, and expertise in how to successfully deal with them. I bring that understanding to coaching conversations and leverage it for the benefit of my clients.
You are a credentialed executive coach. What does this mean in a space where many people have moved into over recent years?
The last 20 years have seen exponential growth in the number of practising coaches. According to the International Coach Federation’s 2016 ICF Global Coaching Study, the profession is flourishing with over 53,000 practising coaches generating over 2.3 billion USD, worldwide. However, an issue identified by the Study is tackling untrained individuals who call themselves coaches as coaching has no regulatory body. Having worked in professional services most of my career, I believe that it is important to be properly qualified and credentialed in whatever you do. In my case, that meant undertaking an ICF approved postgraduate qualification in business and personal coaching. Having completed my training, I then went on to become an ICF Credentialed Coach. This process involved demonstrating my coaching ability against the ICF core competencies as well as committing to undertake on-going CPD. I also receive regular supervision which affords clients an additional level of quality assurance.
Clients look for assurances that they can trust the coach they hire. Being credentialed with the world’s largest coach organisation provides this as it is only globally recognised professional coaching certification. With an ICF Credential, coaches demonstrate their knowledge, skill, and commitment to high ethical and professional standards.
What has your experience in the Legal, Financial and Insurance sectors taught you?
My experience has taught me the importance of establishing your ‘North Star’ that is the values and principles by which to live your life. Having operated in dynamic and challenging environments, I approach my coaching practice with an optimistic attitude that there is always more than one option. My purpose as a coach is to help people uncover their opportunities, then choose to act upon whichever best serves them.
What are you enjoying at this juncture in your career?
I understand how professional services operate and appreciate the nature of the business model, competitive context and client demands. I can therefore quickly build rapport and empathy with my clients which allows me to be effective. I find that for many coaching is a life-changing experience that dramatically improves their outlook on work and life. Through coaching, people can grow their ability to thrive rather than just cope. Coaching helps people tap into their potential, unlocking sources of creativity and productivity. It is incredibly satisfying to work with a client and help them further their goals. I enjoy combining my business and life experience with the rigour of coaching practice and bringing all of this to the service of my clients. Most of all, I love to see people succeed.
Who or what inspires you?
My grandfather, Foster Lewis. He and my nanna, Doris Lewis, led an interesting life and raised seven children. I grew up in South Wales. It was a typical Welsh community with my grandparents next door but one to our home with many other relatives living close by. As a small child, I’d start my day before school by spending time with my grandparents as both my parents worked. I was entertained by the rich voice of my grandfather reading poetry, extracts from Shakespeare and Aesop’s Fables. More than anything else, it was this that started my love of reading and thirst to learn.
My grandfather had been a coal miner until the age of 36. He was forced to quit because he developed miners’ nystagmus disease which is characterised by rapid involuntary movements of the eyes, defective vision, sensitivity to light and night-blindness. Over the years he gradually lost his sight. In between, he fought for miners’ rights, became the warden of the campsite at Porthcawl and later manager of the local brewery.
Despite his failing eyesight, he never lost the love of literature which he passed on to me. My grandfather lived until he was 83. In his final years, he taught himself to use a manual typewriter and wrote his memoir entitled ‘The Miner’s Tale: Recollections of the events in the inconsequential life of a South Wales coal miner 1916-1938’. This book was published by members of my family shortly before his death. His tenacity, resourcefulness and enjoyment of learning is a source of inspiration to me.
When considering a chambers move with my team, I met with all the major players in the industry. Guy and Tony were our clear preferred choice.
They were authentic in their approach, challenged us when they felt it necessary and ultimately delivered a seamless service. Most importantly they showed complete discretion, which was for us the most important criteria.
Their reputation for being leaders in their field is well deserved and I would not hesitate to recommend them to others.