REDISCOVERING MY MOJO IN WORK AND LIFE
"The mental and physical impact of the journey has seen me coping with an inherently stressful time in my life much better than I could ever have done without the impetus, encouragement and support Matt has provided"
PA - HR Director
Detailed Client Testimonials
Rediscovering my Mojo in Work and Life
So here we are sitting at the end of nearly 6 months together and Matt reminds me that I said 7 times in our first meeting that I am paying you to tell me what I already know...I also told him that eating ice-cream (usually every day) was my one weakness and that I could never give that up and that meditation was for new age flakey people...well I can report now that none of my bold statements of "fact" turned out to be true!!
Matt is a great listener...he let me unload it all without judgement, we did the "brain" diagnosis (a very useful tool), we talked, he suggested and cajoled me into some subtle habit changes - red wine for white wine, dark chocolate for white chocolate, I started meditating (and even became quite good at it!), I started playing brain games etc - all in the category of minor changes - but more importantly it became a mindset that I was going to "do stuff" that made me change.
He kept telling me I will make better decisions for myself when all the other aspects of my physical, mental and emotional wellbeing were under control. He didn't say it...but it was (rightly) implied that in my current state I was no use to anyone anyway!! I guess I knew that as well...and on reflection I am pleased that Matt kept pushing me to focus on getting myself back to the place where I had the mental clarity to make the right choices.
I am pleased to report after nearly 8 weeks of dieting (including ice-cream only 3 times in 8 weeks!!), 4 weeks of personal training, nearly 8kg less and a renewed level of fitness that the mental and physical impact of the journey has seen me coping with an inherently stressful time in my life much better than I could ever have done without the impetus, encouragement and support Matt has provided. I am very happy to recommend Matt's coaching services. You may think you know all the stuff he talks about - but firstly his wellbeing model is holistic and well worth understanding and secondly feeling accountable to someone else for what in the end are very personal actions helps!! PA - Global HR Director
Getting my work life balance, family and career back on track.
My journey started when my wife told me I should go and see someone as since moving to Dubai my life had changed in several negative ways. I had put on weight, stopped exercising, started to drink more and was showing signs of stress in that I was having trouble sleeping. Something I am sure all us C Suite executives can relate to when work pressures start to dominate our life and family life gets sidelined.
Right from the very first session with Matt which was basically a good chat between two blokes at the golf club I came away feeling invigorated to make a change in my life. Matt had described the N3 tools and methodology that would give me a healthier lifestyle and centre myself but only if I was committed. Of course, I was, show me the dotted line to sign up. That decision was easy, the hard part followed over the coming weeks. Becoming accountable to Matt for my bedtime to improve sleep, getting the fitbit to track my vital statistics, waking at 6am to do exercise and starting to meditate. Slowly but surely the pieces of the puzzle started to click into place and I started to lose weight and feel I could cope with my work stress.
During our one on one sessions I would unload my issues with the changes I was experiencing or what was causing me stress at work. Through his extensive experience Matt would then deliver in a thought provoking but subtle manner a coping strategy to move forward. My path was not always straight and upwards taking many turns to the point where I lost my job near the end of our sessions however Matt with his tailored discussions had given me strategies to cope and take it in my stride. We had discussed vision boards, goal setting and future careers all the things you always think “I should do that” but you never get around to because you get distracted with work, football or brunch.
Now I had the focus to achieve my goals and behold two months later I have my own consultancy company with the first contract lined up and a drive to sustain a happier, healthier lifestyle. Thank you Matt and N3 for giving me and my family, my life back". ML - Global COO
A long hard look in the mirror.
A couple of years ago I moved into a villa on a compound which has a tennis court. This inspired me to do something that I had thought about doing for many years but never got round to; I began taking lessons to learn how to play the game. There has been a good deal of learning over the last couple of years to the point that I can say that I now have a fair amount in common with Roger Federer. This is a matter I will return to later.
N3’s approach is a holistic one which focuses on the individual and not ‘how best to address issues at work’. This initially was a little frustrating, ‘work’ was why I was making the financial and time investment in the programme- or so I thought. As we progressed, it became apparent that this was not about ‘work’ and ‘communicating more effectively with people who ‘could not see it’; it really was time for me to appraise my life at a fundamental level and take an appropriate course.
The N3 approach focuses on the pillars that found well-being, the strategy boils down to forming a more balanced and healthier individual who will consequentially perform to a higher level in all endeavours, including those within the workplace. There is a structured exploration of the ‘Pillars’ of: exercise, nutrition, sleep, silencing the mind, social, work, learning, family, friends and community. This process is supported by a neuroscientific approach which complements the programme by exploring how our physiological workings of the brain contribute to our responses and state.
To illustrate this approach, imagine a dashboard with a dial for each of the Pillars listed above (0-10 in ascending value); the concept is that small individual improvements to a number of the dials are self-reinforcing and when combined they will have a material effect on general well-being and consequentially performance. However, in going through this process, there is a fundamental review of all aspects of being and the consequences of this can stretch well beyond a simple improvement executive performance.
The output from my work under the N3 programme has been significant, all health indicators are heading strongly in the right direction. After sharing nearly 6 years of tremendous expansion and business building success with my employer, following my establishment of a Gulf based consulting company, our relationship has developed to that of client and consultant.
I am nowhere near the top of the business world, but that said, there is no doubt I have achieved a reasonable level of success. In addition to this success, due to the recent journey I have undertaken, I also fully understand the value of coaching. There we are, like I said, Roger and I have a lot in common, we both think a coach is a good idea.
I maintain regular contact with Matt from N3 and he did ask if I would be willing to make some referrals, I said I would be happy to do so and also write this piece to outline my experience of the N3 journey. I did, however, air some concern in terms of the referrals as I saw a prima facie catch 22 in that, “the people closest to me who I would identify as potentially benefiting most from working with you............. are likely to not be interested........... because their limitations mean they could really benefit from working with you!”.
This leads me on to the question I would leave the reader with, “why do so many people shy away from executive or life coaching?” World class athletes, who excel to the highest level, let’s be frank they are at the top of the world, have no qualms about the need for coaching. So why should we do people in the business world feel embarrassed by the prospect or not understand the potential value? Is some minor (or major for that matter) success in climbing the corporate ladder sufficient to ensure maximum performance? Surely if it is good enough for Roger…… LS - Group CCO
A Complete change of function, role and industry - a leap of faith
From the outset of our first meeting, my expectations were for the usual; set the scene, prepare a plan of action, look for and secure a job, and have an open mind to the coaching journey. I have had coaching before but not for a prolonged period of time and in circumstances of seeking employment. It must be all the same… right?... wrong.
Matt did most of the talking. I listened and thought; ‘I have heard this all before’, but I was 100% committed to learn more and apply this process to my current situation and not succumb to my experience. What came next was the key for me to consider a deeper dive into my inner drivers, reflection of what I have done and can do and the balance of; work, family, health, sleep and mind-set towards not only the career path I believed I was on but reflecting on what I would call ‘total life perspective’. It felt like a soft opener to build the rapport, I am sure it was; do not run before you can walk. Sometimes the Taurus in me just wants to get on with it and break some china.
As the meetings went on, the results of interviews, discussions with my network, exploring ideas in different countries, it started to become clear that the questions Matt asked and the resulting questions I asked myself opened up a realisation that my skills and potential to add value was possible in many industries and functions. If I kept the momentum but redirected the focus to consider alternative career possibilities then new opportunities could emerge. I was lucky, it seems, that I had built a wide and varied network over time. It became clear it was not luck but was actually cultivated; due to and because of, the skills and mind-set I had without really questioning ‘why?’.
Matt introduced the 9-box grid, which helped with this realization and awareness of new possibilities and focusing on my value-add rather than my functional past and CV history. If a role was out there, then it was because of my approach to adding value, if that was a financial role, I have and will add value, if it was a consulting role, I had the skills and would find a way to add value. This is what businesses really want; value. This is where the; “coaching… it must be all the same”, transformed in to something new and inspiring.
As a family, we had already considered four plans of; progress of job and career, residence, schooling options. This opened up our outlook of an infinite mind-set and not closed or blinkered to one outcome. Listen to the signs and signals and weave a path not necessarily of least resistance but most opportune. The two can combine like yin and yang to strengthen the outcome. Least resistance means there could be missed opportunity that may have another least resistant path thereafter. Consequently, focus on the longer term goals. Matt went on to set numerical goals (1-10) of key aspects of my life and awareness of self. I must now return to those and reflect. These later sessions were positive, I had reacted and evolved since the first session and applied myself in a new, more infinite and holistic manner. Matt had seen this shift and so began to prod, push, pry and support in the key areas he had helped identify, it was at this time and at this stage, the coaching sessions made a difference. I can imagine for some it may have come earlier, for others later, but with commitment and faith in the process, it will happen.
We progressed to insecurities and inner feelings. Congruous to the “SAS Who Dares Wins” series where you are at the bottom of a mountain after a frightening abseil, it is slashing down with bitter cold rain and sleet and the DS bellows that you immediately have to trek back up the mountain with your drenched backpack whilst carrying a 100lb log. You have to dig deep; it is now that you reflect on how much resolve, determination, drive, enthusiasm, and discipline you have and more importantly, why. I had a revelation and realization of the meaning and importance of gravitas - had examples of new communities and circle of friends and acquaintances expecting, predicting that I am much younger than I am. Was their perception therefore of a younger attitude, a naive approach, maybe even immature experience? I knew this was not the case but had to deal with this realization. The goal therefore was to slow down, take time, focus on the strategy/long term and relationship rather than detail and repetitive financial tasks. Take ownership and understand my Why. We had covered a lot of ground, I was exhausted afterwards, and mentally it was the best session. Opened up my real feelings, I felt Matt had dug deep in his experience too; our approach was 100% genuine. This gave strength to my perception and ideas of the session’s progress. We had both prepared for this meeting well and I believe we both got a great deal out of it.
The next meetings took on a completely new direction, as there was a job on the horizon. I was in the interview process. The coaching had also introduced me to a new network of friends, colleagues, dads that brought a refreshing new perspective. One of understanding the puzzle that is; navigating through life. Due to the adrenaline rush of being in the process of an interview in a large organization the self-awareness and success of previous coaching was coming through. For example, I thought about and applied; experience, knowledge of different industries, business models, change management, value add and gravitas. It helped. These latter sessions were a tipping point, mainly due to the interview process but more so belief that the hard work and commitment to the cause, focus on job-hunting, personality reflection and coaching, combined with the open mind-set meant all arrows were pointing in the same direction. Matt gave strength and support to continue on my newfound path. Change of function and change of industry. My new journey of discovery and application of knowledge of my Why. Draw upon the senior relationships and do not accept good enough or mediocre - work towards the higher goals and visualize the value you add and skills that benefit a given situation.
As a coach, Matt also suggested some inspiration books, made many notes of key focus areas and always had these to hand to reflect upon. He was always open to a different discussion on varied topics where relevant but could always bring the discussion back to the focal point. I enjoyed that structured yet open forum. AL - CFO