My greatest strength in business was my ability to manage difficult stakeholders, bring out the best in individual team members, and build motivated high-performance teams even in challenging business environments.
Before training as an executive coach at Henley Business School, I accumulated some 30 years’ experience in business of which 20 were in senior leadership including CEO and Board roles.
My first 20 years were spent working in leading international communications agencies including BBDO, Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy & Mather, Y&R and McCann Erikson.
During this time, I held Board, Department Head, Account Management, Strategy Planning and HR roles and was accountable for strategic brand leadership across a range of industry sectors including fashion, retail, media, FMCG, financial services, corporate, industrials, Government and NGO and on a vast number of international blue-chip brands.
I undertook an MBA at the age of 43 and graduated with honours as the “Major de Promotion” for best academic performance - not because I was the smartest person in the room, but because I chose the smartest people to work with and was determined to extract every ounce of learning from the opportunity.
The MBA was like a boot camp for executives, but the real learning began when I took on leadership roles in private equity backed luxury-related companies.
These roles exposed me to a wide range of challenging business and interpersonal issues. During this time, I earned respect from my team, the Board and investors for my perseverance, resilience, vision and leadership.
I became a coach because I want to help people succeed. I found the most rewarding aspect of my own career was the development of successful leaders within the organisations I led.
I am international in outlook and entrepreneurial by nature, having built an agency from a zero base to $40 million in 2 years at the age of 23 with two partners.
But while I had considerable success in my business career, I realise now that it was needlessly difficult at times and wish I had had a coach to support and challenge me along the journey.