It all started when I was at first school in maths class.
I ‘got it’ a bit quicker than some of the other kids so my teacher asked me to help out with them.
Even then, I loved seeing that light bulb go on in someone’s head.
The point at which they ‘got it’.
The joy/relief of being able to do something they were previously struggling with.
I was hooked on change!
Given my experience at school, a maths teacher was the obvious choice for me but then I read about management consulting.
It looked like the opportunity to implement change and have a positive impact on peoples' lives on a much bigger scale!
Allowing people to work more efficiently.
Less of the dull, more of the interesting is how I saw it.
I couldn't get in initially, so I qualified as an accountant to learn about business and then moved to a senior management position, where I got my first taste of implementing business change.
After that I moved into technology consulting with PwC before going freelance in 2001.
I set up my ‘business and personal change’ company, adding coaching and therapy to my work as a consultant.
Working with individuals, but also coaching ‘at the pointy end’ of business. On the job, supporting people through the stresses and challenges of implementing new technology, processes and the new ways of working needed to support them.
Always working somewhere in the continuum between the solution delivery team and the business users who had to adopt the solution. With a foot in both camps. A ‘change manager with bells on’, if you like.
I know how difficult these projects can be for all involved and business change is as much of a focus for me today as it's always been.
With the right support, these projects can deliver the anticipated results and benefits but not be as stressful or personally difficult as they so often are.
Where did the coaching and therapy bit come from?
The year was 1997 and I had never come to terms with the death of my mum 10 years earlier.
She went into hospital with a lung infection and a couple of weeks later I was getting a call at the start of the first day of my last year at university telling me she would die that day. And she did.
She was only 56 and had undiagnosed pancreatic cancer (or she knew, but never told us).
Luckily I got to see her before she died but it was pretty traumatic. Losing her that day haunted me for 10 years. I couldn’t think of her without being right back there. I had lost her and my ability to remember good times with her.
As I later found out, our minds and bodies are tightly linked, so it’s not terribly surprising that shortly after her death I got what proved to be a recurring inner ear infection that affected my balance. I couldn’t move my eyes without feeling seasick. Not great for lectures, believe me.
After about 10 years, a doctor suggested it may be nothing to do with my ears and that stress may be leading to tension in my neck and shoulders, restricting the blood flow to my head and causing the dizziness. He suggested having a massage.
Luckily for me, my masseuse was also learning Neuro Linguistic Programming and Time Line Therapy and needed a guinea pig for her first ‘breakthrough session’.
That day, I cleaned up my past and learnt strategies that have helped me pretty much every day since that day. In all areas of my life.
My recurring dizziness stopped recurring (I can’t remember the last time I had it now). But best of all? I could finally look back and remember laughing with my mum (well, the first memory I had was of her laughing at me as it goes, but hey).
That day changed my life forever and set me on the course I’ve been following ever since. I was so grateful and blown away with what happened for me that day. I knew I wanted to be able to do the same for others and ‘pay it forward’.
I got certified in NLP, Time Line Therapy and Hypnosis and the rest, as they say, is history.
If you’ve taken the time to read this, then I thank you for indulging me….and I hope that it might just inspire some of you to reach out for support to make change easier for yourself. Life's too short to struggle if you don't have to, or settle for sub-optimal when you could change.
Business and personal change is possible and because of what I have experienced, I’m committed to making it as simple, manageable…and as comfortable as possible.
After all, who wants complex, overwhelming or uncomfortable?!