Some of this may be familiar, some may not ….
I’ve spent 30 years in education, working in schools or with them. I believe people matter, and one of the most rewarding parts of my role as a school leader was watching and supporting those in my community grow - whether it was seeing children learning and mature, or colleagues develop professionally and personally.
My professional life has been focused on development - everyone has potential.
‘A Recovering Senior Leader’.
As a member of senior leadership teams in a number of schools in the UK and internationally, and as a school Principal, it might look like I’ve had a successful career (certainly by some measures). I did this whilst my wife brought up our children.
I’d leave home early, get home late… sometimes see my children, sometimes not.
I was ‘successful’ but not thriving.
Something was missing...
Something felt like it was missing and I couldn’t figure out what…. Part of my role as a High School Principal meant that I had a professional coach that coached ‘me’ rather than my ‘role’, and this helped lead me to some important questions:
What is really important to me?
What do I really want?
What don’t I want?
Time with my family was what I really wanted (which I was not getting in role). What was really important to me was doing something that still allowed me to honour my values in the belief that people are important, and that everyone has potential to be different and better. I wanted to support others to develop - that's what I wanted to do.
For me, coaching was transformative. So much so that I introduced coaching training into my school (Coaching for Wellbeing), and a specialist bespoke programme for students (Inner Leader Programme). As one member of my staff said: ‘Everyone should have a coach’.
I became a coach
But you have to walk the walk as well as talk the talk - right? So, I decided to train as a coach myself. Only then could I really honour my values.
I was so busy ‘DOING’ I didn’t spend any time being conscious of what I was ‘BEING’.
I’d used coaching techniques as a school leader for many years, and through the leadership development programmes I had designed and facilitated. However, having had access to a professional coach, I realised how powerful it was when you partner with a someone that really specialises in coaching. I was blown away by it as a process and committed to the 100+ hours training required to become a fully trained CTI (Co-Active®) coach, combining this training with my 30 years as a people leader, and an International Coaching Federation recognised accreditation (Associate Certified Coach-ACC).
Life still has its ups and downs, challenges and rewards…. It’s not perfect. The difference is that I now have a set of techniques (a toolkit) that I use to manage ‘me’ better. The coaching I experienced, and the training I did, help me understand these ‘tools’ better and they are part of the investment you make when you engage in coaching – you get the toolkit too!
Today, I help people get clarity on what matters to them, what they want to DO and what they want to BE.
Now, I am calmer, more fulfilled, enjoy life and am giving more time to those around me and to things that really matter. I am thankful. I want that for you.