Alexa is Head of Strategic Development, EMEA for Adobe
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.
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.
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’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.
I only want you in this programme if it will help YOU.
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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 felt pushed to become the best version of myself which was incredibly rewarding and gave me a sense of achievement.
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.
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.
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.
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 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”
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.