Client Case Study - Alexa Holland

"Powerful, rewarding and motivating. I can't recommend it enough"

Alexa is Head of Strategic Development, EMEA for Adobe

What brought you to Coaching?

I had recently been promoted to a new management position for the first time and also had the daunting prospect of having to manage former peers. I was given the opportunity to work with a coach.  Despite not knowing what to expect, I knew I wanted to work on leadership skills and that is what I took to the coaching engagement.

How did you begin?

We got to know each other in a 2 hour Deep Dive Discovery session where Gail asks really powerful questions.  The most pertinent for me being ‘what drives you crazy’ and ‘when do you relinquish your power’?   The most pertinent of these being’ what drives you crazy’ and ‘when do you relinquish power’?

That really opened me up to understanding how I tick and operate i.e. what makes me who I am.  

"There were many powerful questions that made me think"

what happened in your discovery session?

We spent time talking about me; how I operate and what makes me who I am. 

We were able to go deep very quickly in the 2 hour session and it was fundamental in laying the foundation for a productive and effective relationship going forward. 

We got everything out on the table and set the right tone for our discussions.

"I never felt unsafe or judged. Gail created a very supportive environment. I felt that I could trust her implicitly and be entirely myself without fear of saying the wrong thing."

Hi! My name is Gail

I’ve led and managed high performing teams in companies like Adobe, Fujitsu and GE for the last 20 years.

I intimately understand the challenges associated with being a female leader.

For the past few years I’ve been helping other leaders and managers ignite their passion and potential so they can live and lead with confidence.


Female Leader of the Year Finalist

What was your overall goal?

Following the Discovery Session, I was able to narrow down the topics I wanted to focus on and create an overall agenda around two important aspects of my leadership, specifically confidence & credibility. 


I decided I wanted to understand what was stopping me from being a confident and credible leader and be able to take action to address that. 


I wanted to better understand myself and why I react the way I do in certain situations to allow me to better self-manage.  


This, in turn, would lead to more confidence and credibility.


"I had previously considered myself self-aware but coaching took this to a whole new level"

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How would you describe the sessions?

Energetic, motivating and hugely powerful.  I was prepared for every session and knew exactly what I wanted.  Every session delivered.  Gail & I always had a natural flow and our relationship developed further over the course of the engagement.  

I was challenged but in a way that was rewarding and led me on a journey of personal growth.   

I felt pushed to become the best version of myself which was incredibly rewarding and gave me a sense of achievement. 

What did you learn?

I learned to recognise what I was doing, understand the reasons behind it, reflect on that, challenge myself and then use all of that process to get myself back on track. 

For example, I’m now able to handle really tricky conversations at work much more effectively and with less anxiety than before.

As a new manager, I was constantly faced with situations I’d never encountered before. 

It was good to learn that you can change your approach without losing the essence of who you are but still get to a positive outcome. 

I learned all about my core values; my guiding principles that drive my behaviour, action and emotion. 

I also learned to adopt a coaching style myself and that’s had a positive impact on my leadership style and my team.

"I learned that I am more capable than I previously believed"

What impact did the coaching have?

It had an enormous impact.  

I felt more confident and capable of handling situations I was faced with, in specific work situations and personally. 

It was motivating coming to the sessions and to see real progress being made. 

I would take a tricky situation to a session and find myself coming away feeling energised and ready to tackle it head on. I would work on the resulting actions and maintain a huge level of excitement about reporting back to Gail in our next session.

How would you summarise your Coaching Journey?

Exciting and eye-opening; I went into it with an open mind and quickly saw the benefits. 


When I compare where I was at the start to where I finished, I would say there was a huge difference in my style, confidence and approach; it really is a journey. 


In many ways, it was transformational: in the way I approach things and in how I understand myself


Now I am considered, self-aware and forgiving of myself. 


I am much more appreciative of small wins.  

Overall I have a sense of achievement and recognition from my leadership team.

What makes coaching different from other forms of Personal development?

The onus is on you.  It is hard work but so rewarding particularly when you have ‘penny drop’ moments and can see things falling into place. 

Gail creates a huge element of accountability.  

You must know that it will take effort, preparation, hard work and commitment. But, if you put that in then what you get out is greater than the sum of all the parts.

What would you say to someone considering Coaching but isn't sure?

You will never know what it can do for you until you try it for yourself. Everyone’s journey is unique but that is what makes it so powerful and rewarding. It gave me an amazing buzz.

"I found myself excited about things I would have previously lost sleep over because I had a suitable framework and increased confidence"

I think the best way to sum it up is with this quote:

“You can never cross the ocean until you have confidence to lose sight of the shore”

Christopher Columbus

You may be an incredibly capable human being but you may not know how to surface that and use it to your advantage. 

You don’t need a coach because you are failing or not good enough. 

You need a coach to help you recognise your own ability and inner strength and ensure that plays a central role in your leadership & life. 

You have to leave the shore or you won’t be going anywhere.

More kind words

Gail, I can't thank you enough for the time we have had together. You have helped through some really tough times and always with such a calming approach. I really valued our time together. I knew that our sessions would always help me clear the noise and see the path ahead more clearly.

It has been a bumpy road at times, but your coaching undoubtedly contributed to where I am now. The tools and the conversations will stay with me for the future.

You are a calming voice of reason with a powerful message.

You have changed my outlook on so many things and I'm so grateful.
Kathryn Wood

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