I have had a passion for coaching and helping others to develop and reach the next level ever since I failed to get into the first team for rowing at school and instead was given the role of coaching the third boat. The third boat wasn’t filled with the best oarsman in the club but they still managed to improve and raise their performance, through their own hard work and application. By the end of the year some of the crew had been promoted into better boats and they won one of the races in which they competed.
This early opportunity to work with and develop others has stayed with me through all of the different roles I have worked in. I have seen the importance of giving time and creating safe spaces in order to support people, empower them to improve, and to strengthen their skills (and sometimes reduce their weaknesses).
This experience has also highlighted the power of effective teams and whether it is on the water in a boat, or in an organisational setting the power and feeling when everyone is pulling in the same direction is incredible (and rewarding). Whilst it doesn’t happen all the time once you have experienced it you want more and I continually search to try maintain any incremental gains.
Balance is also extremely important in rowing and of course in life in general, over the past year I have gained experience in delivering holistic wellness programmes which focus on physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and have seen the benefits in my personal life by adopting positive behaviours in these areas. These align well with the interests that I pursue out of work which may no longer include rowing (on the water at least) but does include cycling, running and walking – I enjoy physical activities.
Apart from sports my other interests include wine and reading. Five years of living in France gave me a great opportunity to experience the former and also the latter, as it linked to my interests in business, culture, sport and history – I am always looking at ways to connect these to utilise these in business settings.