For nearly 20 years I ran an executive search boutique working in financial services and family office recruitment, observing and advising senior candidates making changes, often under pressure and always at pivotal times in their careers. Some struggled, others thrived as they grappled with motivation, productivity, the question of "success", career ladders, their "story", their responsibilities and obligations - and often just with change itself.
RAH Partners was recognised for doing intelligent, painstaking and thoughtful work. Often during the briefing stages of a search, we found ourselves first and foremost coaching the client organisation, especially on what they should make explicit to incoming candidates. "Rules" which were unwritten, unspoken but which governed the behaviour and the culture of businesses - and which incoming executives needed to know. Client organisations were often either unaware or ill prepared to define and discuss these things.
Working with clients in this way ignited an interest in organisational culture and the role of leaders' behaviour in informing culture. Coaching leaders and teams was a natural evolution; the hard thinking that needs to be done some time before a hiring decision is taken - and which first works to analyse and optimise the situation as it is, is fascinating.
A first port of call was to train at the Tavistock Institute, where I experienced the deeply transformational power of both coaching and psychotherapy. My personal and professional life was changed beyond measure. Many hours of coaching later, led to the Meyler Campbell Mastered course and the learning, privilege and fun of being supervised by two brilliant people - the founder of Meyler Campbell and author of the FT Guide to Business Coaching, Anne Scoular, and business coach Saverio Grazioli- Venier - later adding group coaching dynamics and family business advisory training with the Kets de Vries Institute.
My early education was culturally very rich in a Welsh speaking state school in North Wales - Ysgol Morgan Llwyd - then via an open scholarship to UWC Atlantic College and then Cambridge University (English Literature, Fitzwilliam). Non work activities include the Council of the Hay on Wye Festival, the External Affairs Committee of UWC Atlantic College and advising the Dalai Lama Centre for Compassion. Also, swimming in the Serpentine since more than 25 years and being a Director of Cool Bananas, a Zambia-based family agri-business.