We were a relatively small division of the business; there were seven specialists, myself and a business admin coordinator. I was incredibly busy managing the team which included remote workers, on top of my own workload. It involved a lot of travelling, and I found that I was burning candle at both ends and doing nothing well. There reached a point where I needed a sounding board so my Managing Director introduced me to Ashley.
The business was expanding rapidly and the teams were growing exponentially. I knew that the business needed managers to lead the teams and we also needed to implement stronger systems, but I didn’t think I needed an EA. I’d never had that support before and to be honest, I was too busy to even stop to even think about it.
With Ashley’s help I recruited an EA with strong project skills and she’s a great fit for me and the business. That freed me up to focus on other areas of the business. Coaching with Ashley really made me think and explore; you talk things through in such a way that you get clarity. He taught me to challenge my own thinking and that has been very useful; I use it all the time now.
Coaching has also been integral to my team, too. We are all doing DISC (behavioural profiles) now so we all understand people’s strengths, how they fire and function, and that’s made us all much more effective.
During the time I was being coached, I had to have six weeks out of the business so Ashley and I worked out a very detailed plan of who was responsible for what, and we put people in place to be decision makers and prepared them for the types of decisions they’d be expected to make. We spent time on risk analysis and management, which enabled us to develop strategies of ‘if this, then that’. It meant that if things went wrong, people were equipped. While I was away people really stepped up and some retained those new responsibilities.
Time management was another area that Ashley helped me with. I’m a relatively organised person; I’m a planner not a chaotic worker but my diary was always full to the brim. Ashley help me transition from 5 days per week to 4 days per week. The strategy he taught me was to imagine that you’re an Uber black limousine – you can only take so many calls per day. I learned to keep white space in the diary so that I can have flexibility.
I learned to push back on some things that weren’t going to have a material impact on the business. Now I’m seeing things much more strategically, looking at consequences, and planning life better.
One of the main aspects I appreciate about Ashley’s coaching is that he challenges my thinking. Not the ‘why’ but the ‘how’. I still might not do it differently but I give it thorough consideration. He’s also made a huge difference to the direction of the division. We now have a clear systematic approach to where we’re heading and we have a really strong structure in place.
Ashley’s also helped me with perseverance. One of the greatest lessons he taught me was: get all your facts first. You need to unpeel the onion a bit more to really discover what’s going on. These are real pearls of wisdom. He was a great support and guide.
I had 12 months of coaching with Ashley and I’m very grateful for his involvement.