Beginnings, Background, School
I was a black kid born to immigrant parents in a part of South East London where there were very few black people. We weren’t typical of an average black family. Dad was a bus conductor then carpenter, then heating engineer, and mum was a school kitchen supervisor. We lived in a big, four bedroomed, three reception house that was bought by Mum and Dad with a mortgage. We were a working-class family. By today’s standards, we would have been middle-class. The infant and primary school that I went to was not only a fantastic place to learn and grow but also reflected the demographic of the area. Me and my three brothers all went there.
We never went without and were all fed and clothed. I’m sure there were difficult times, but generally, we never noticed.
In comparison to other black kids in the wider area, were we lucky? Hell no! Our parents worked hard in good jobs in order to provide. It wasn’t luck.
Later on in our childhood, things did get a little darker. Life teaches you that that bubble is always going to pop! Parents were involved in an acrimonious split up. As kids, we’re always told, “you’re too young to understand”. Over 40 years later, they still haven’t told us. I actually grew up believing it was normal to have ‘bones in that closet’; a crime to divulge family business.
Teenager, Ownership, Life
I learned in my late teens that none of that stuff was any of my fault and that the only person that was going to be responsible for me, was ME. I learned that people make their own choices, irrespective of whether they were good or bad ones. I learned that most of those same people wouldn’t accept responsibility for those same choices.
Some would rather fail than admit they were wrong.
Some would fall by the wayside, some would work every day to survive life’s ups and downs, and others were happy with their lives. They settled. Accepted that this was their station and should not aspire to anything greater.
I didn’t go to university. I heard that a handful people from our old secondary school had the opportunity to do so. I cannot speak for other areas in South East London, but Forest Hill and Brockley wasn’t normally a place for academia. You left school, you went to work. I did however have a fabulous career, staying with the same employer doing different roles from clerical admin, through to sales contributor ending in sales leadership, for 35 years. The learning was infinitely more practical and rewarding than my gaining a 2:1. But then I would say that, wouldn’t I? I’ve been married to the same person since 1984 producing two wonderful grown up children. The motivation to correct some of the adolescent disappointments that I experienced is what has been the main driver towards every goal that I have achieved; They have been totally linked to my personal values.
Where was that independent voice that could help those of us that were stuck, or didn’t know what to do? Lots of people were on hand to give advice; there was always advice. Lots of advice. But is that the same?
Converse, Inspire, Discover
I began the journey accidentally. One of my managers from the business I originally worked for had an insight to people that totally changed the way that I viewed the world, and, more importantly, how I behaved in it. I had a limiting belief that I was unaware that I had. Over a period of time, he would hear it in my voice or see it in my attitude. Eventually, he decided to take me to task. By coaching me, in one single conversation, I took away some truth that I believed that my accent was holding me back. It was heavily South London in a corporate world. I didn’t think I could go any further, I felt I wasn’t as respected as other managers. He sanctioned a six-session Gravitas programme with a guy that would change my life. I flew after that. Belief in yourself, cultivate relationships with your behaviour, feed your desire.
With this new found self-belief, I threw myself into my career. Earned money, earned plaudits and recognition. I had all of the tools to deal with pretty much all people situations, both at work and socially. The most powerful tool that I have is the ability to develop how I engage and interact with people; not allowing anyone the power to determine how I feel today.
The point is, everyone has somewhere where they want to be in their life. Something that they want to do. Something that they want to have. They may not know how to get there. This isn’t about being intelligent or being clever. We all need help sometimes. But what my 38 year career has taught me is that, whatever it is that you want to be, whatever it is that you want to do or whatever it is that you want to have, the answer lies within you. It always has done.
Leaving, Believing, Developing
After 35 years of continuous employment at one company, I took the momentous and seriously risky decision to leave the business and look at taking my career in another direction. I loved working at the company and learned everything about my craft, people and industry in that time. So here is the question. Why would a 52 year old leave a comfortable, very well paying leadership role with an company that provided an excellent package? I’ll tell you why. Unchallenged. Bored. Glass ceiling. Uninspired. Getting lazy.
When your son comes home early and sees you on the sofa watching ‘Two And A Half Men’ on TV with the laptop next to you and says “Dad, I want your job”, then it’s time to consider your options.
I absolutely stand by the belief that a person has to have a reason to get up in the morning. Has to be ready to meet the day with the objective of learning something that they didn’t know yesterday. Challenging themselves somehow by moving outside of their comfort zone. Ideally, doing something that they find satisfying, though that obviously cannot always be the case. WE can ALL learn new things, even when if we are older, simply by reprogramming our brains, destroying the limiting beliefs that hold us back, thus changing our possibilities.
Mum and Dad were mortified. Almost verbatim they independently said “why would you give up a good, comfortable job and the good money to go elsewhere for less?” I understood. They are programmed differently, from a different time that demanded a different effort for what they strove to attain.
Challenges, Conviction, Development
I needed a challenge; to do something that would stretch me, something I am passionate about (that would pay, of course). However, fear crept in after a couple of months of looking and I took a job in London that I knew was wrong before I started. It wasn’t right and it didn’t feel right. Good little company and good people. But I hated it. I did learn from it though. It cemented what was in my mind, giving me the conviction to move forward and gave me the signpost for where I should be.
I take responsibility for myself. Like the London job, I’ve made mistakes. Wow, have I made mistakes! But almost all have been mitigated risks – calculated and considered so the impact was minimal, and I learn from them. I am exactly where I want to be at this stage of my life. And I am absolutely delighted.
How I help you
These areas are where I can help you if you are stuck. If you are unable to make a decision on what you want to do or don’t know how to achieve your goal
Experiences, Service, Situations
Finally, an experience that I am going to share with you. A guy was leaving the business after 40 years service, taking a voluntary package. He was in a group of people that didn’t have a job so I was asked to look after them for a short period – help them in either securing another role or with an exit plan. As he had decided to leave and had a date to leave in 5 days time, he would have just handed his car, equipment and pass-card in to someone and just been allowed to go. An ignominious end to a distinguished career. That’s often how it was in the business. That actual situation went against my values. I believed he deserved to have a manager say an official ‘good bye, good luck and thank you for your service’. So I thought I would do it.
I agreed to meet with him up in Birmingham and do a proper exit interview. I had been speaking with him for a couple of weeks and he seemed genuinely grateful. On the day, I met him as planned. I walked into the room and called him by his name. He turned around and was visibly disappointed with the face in front of him. He eventually spoke to me so I had a choice. Kill him with kindness or do a cold meeting. Professional to the end, I did the exit interview and then took him to lunch. I also signed for him to have a small party with his friends and family as a ‘leaving-do’. The last thing he will remember, irrespective of whatever his views of me, is that someone had taken the time to travel up the country to ensure he had a good send off. In some way, I believe I will have impacted his beliefs with my behaviour. On my part, and this is the important part, what he thought of me personally is none of my business. The ability to respond how I chose to mean’t that I did not provide someone else with the power to determine how I would feel.
I’m not special or any different to you. But I can promise you that these are all areas where you have it within you to make a change. I can help you to achieve that.
I am passionate about helping others fulfill their potential
If you are looking at this page, you already have change in mind
Individual Professional Improvement Sessions
Using SKYPE, Facetime or Face to Face
These sessions are coaching practice to help individuals to achieve personal or professional goals. I provide the building blocks through a personal improvement plan enabling you to realise that you can
Coaching is an action, not a title and actions result in successes
In order to achieve your goals, you need to have a specific plan. I will support you in exploring all of the options that are already within you. If you have the desire and the motivation, then there is nothing to stop you achieving your goals.
A number of expert coaching tools and techniques are used to work with individuals and groups on their personal development.
My Specialties are: Relationship Management, Sales Management, Leadership, People Development
Maybe it is you that needs to change?
You can’t control the wind but you can adjust the sails!
As coaching is all about you, we start by looking at you as an individual. By understanding who you are, what your values are, the achievements that you are proud of, the priorities in your life and the goals that you have in order to ensure that coaching is right for you.
We will them discuss what you are doing at the moment, what is effective and what is not.
I will support you on your journey to improve your performance and achieve your goals.
You will be accountable and responsible for the actions that you will decide to take in order to achieve those goals.
What holds people back?
Time, a lack of focus, a lack of support or simply lack of belief. It is more likely that people fail because the change that they want to make is difficult to sustain. If their belief in themselves changes and their positivity increases, then they feel a greater motivation to achieve. We will help and support individuals and groups to achieve that change.
Ready to get started?
Get in touch, and take a positive step