An interview with a Financial Services Director
It’s easy to forget how much control we can have over our lives. We can become so focused on finding reasons why we can’t do or have something that we become blind to the small adjustments we could make in our lives to create opportunities that can re-energize us and support personal Resilience. We either make ourselves miserable or we can make ourselves stronger – the amount of effort is the same.
Running a relatively young business I constantly look for the small adjustments I need to make in order to sustain my own Resilience. I coach many people who struggle with work-life balance and, as a rule; I am good at managing my own time because I have built strategies and techniques to deal with conflicting priorities.
One success story for work-life balance comes from a client David Pope. David had committed to a job that required long hours and lots of travelling, which meant he had to give up playing in a band, as he couldn’t get to rehearsals and performances. By re-focusing his outlook David found a new musical outlet and enthusiasm for his professional work also. It’s a great reminder that there are always possibilities and that coaching can help you find them.
Please read on for the interview with David, where we talked about what affects Executive Coaching had on creating sustainable Resilience:
Interview with David Pope
You’ve recently taken part in one of my Julie Courtney coaching programmes, what inspired you to consider coaching?
‘I’m the sort of person that’s never satisfied because the business world is constantly changing and how I respond must change as well. I’ve been in business for a long time, but I still have potential to unlock – I can achieve more and I can offer more to the company I work for’.
You say that a key benefit of the Executive Coaching was that you became more proactive; can you give us an example?
‘If you are very busy at work, you get too focused on tasks and lose sight of what you are trying to achieve – which is what happened to me. I was also doing a lot of long haul travelling so time pressures made me very reactive. The coaching made me stand back and re-focus on my goals (both personal and professional) – it made me think about them and write them down. Julie was great at challenging my thinking and made sure I looked at things that were within my control and that I could influence. These were not always comfortable discussions, but they were essential so that I could focus on doing the right things for me’.
So what personal goals did the coaching help you to achieve?
‘I have been a singer/songwriter for some time and had wanted to professionally record some of my songs. I was so busy that I never got around to it, so it became a source of frustration and stress that was eating away at me. My sessions with Julie meant I re-focused and made the recording happen. I’m now the proud owner of my own EP and, if you don’t believe me, you can listen to it here: https://soundcloud.com/f-o-a-1 (FOA is my stage name)
How long have you had this ambition to write and record music?
‘I was in punk band that recorded several songs and played lots of gigs, but I had to leave the band when I got my latest role. Instead I picked up an acoustic guitar and started playing and writing my own stuff. I’m totally in control of the creative process, both with the song and the actual recording, and I’m playing songs with lyrics that mean a lot to me. It’s really special.’
How did you find the time and energy, with your busy home and work life, to finally achieve your ambition?
‘I’m a firm believer that if you want to do something badly enough, and you have a plan, then you can achieve it. The coaching made me focus, write a plan of action and deliver it. That sounds simple but with everything else going on it’s tricky. Then you’re in a self perpetuating situation. Once I had the plan and worked to it, I got more and more focused on the end goal.’
Is there anything you’ve learnt in your musical journey that you’ve taken back into the world of business?
‘Whatever you think you are, whatever you try to be, it’s always best just to be yourself – and be proud of it. Sometimes that’s easier to do on stage than at work’!
You have been a proactive advocate of using the Mindfulness to support the coaching process – what difference has this made to what you achieved in the coaching programme?
‘I’m a real believer in the power of thought. Mindfulness has given me a real tool – a tangible thing – that allows me to focus and actively influence how I am feeling. I like being able to see the impact through technology Julie used to demonstrate the positive impacts of Mindfulness on my heart rate variability. Exploring that I can have control over how I feel and seeing the results on my physiology has helped me.’
David’s career has taken him to the top level in financial services, but he remained a punk rocker at heart. He is a great example of how Resilience coaching has given a client a new vision and energy for both business and music. Correlating what is important both in and outside of work helps sustain our performance. David proves it’s never too late to make changes and achieve your potential.
If we all naturally performed to our optimum level all the time, there would be no need for coaching, however without it we can settle for less than we are capable of.
I would encourage you to refocus your outlook when setting personal and professional goals and reconnect with a hobby or pastime you used to enjoy that has maybe become less of a feature in life. This will help sustain your Resilience in 2019 and beyond. If you feel overwhelmed or unsure where to start an exercise I ask clients to carry out is the Wheel of Life. This helps highlight areas that are out of balance, which can help highlight where you need to start.
As George Elliot once said, “It is never too late to be what you might have been.