An International Tech Leader
My Story of Transformation
“Nick is free of gimmicks and false guarantees.
I chose Nick because of his tangible passion for leadership, his many years of experience, his open mind and his enormous heart.”
How would you describe the problem, challenge or condition you had that you sought my help with?
When I started working with Nick I had been tasked with the role of championing a programme for an international tech start up to comply with upcoming data protection and privacy legislation. With just one project manager to assist me, I was expected to develop a pragmatic, risk-based approach to privacy compliance, work collaboratively with senior stakeholders to foster a culture of privacy by design, and build a programme that aligned with the company’s values and business model.
The company had historically marginalised privacy concerns and internal stakeholders had little understanding of the changes they would need to make. It was a huge task which undoubtedly required leadership ability. I had the vision, knowledge and passion to champion the programme, but needed help to develop, communicate and cascade my vision so that others could see the value in and necessity for engaging with a programme of this magnitude.
The role would require both personal and professional growth; it needed me to step up, grow up and to overcome many fears. Among others, I had fears of not being taken seriously, fears of having my competence questioned and fears of people of misinterpreting my new responsibility as an oversized ego. Nick helped me push through all these fears to assist the company in pioneering through a new approach to compliance.
How would you describe where you have got to? A passionate/enthusiastic expression of the benefits and results you are enjoying/have enjoyed from working together.
In working with Nick I learnt that being wholehearted allowed me to give my best. I learnt how to identify the conditions I need to succeed and to ask for those things to give myself the best shot. Nick coached me through difficult discussions and the expression of very human emotions – mine and those of others – so that air could be cleared for new, strong and stable foundations to be laid.
He helped me shift my sense of identity from lawyer to leader and gave me the tools to inspire, teach and coach. He also supported me in navigating the inevitable naysayers, their psychology and my own, so that I didn’t fall into the dangerous trap of my dimming my light.
Although it had not been my intention when we first started working together, within a relatively short time, I stepped into a new leadership role at an established, reputable and “grown up” company. At this institution, I am trusted to showcase my leadership skill-set on a much larger platform and am now comfortable with my own authentic, wholehearted style of leadership.
What aspects of the coaching process have been most helpful and useful to you and your growth? Your 3 most significant improvements.
Our conversations were always fluid and natural and Nick consistently held space when emotions ran high. In the notes Nick shared with me after every session, he captured and crystalised valuable gems from our time together that I had sometimes overlooked. Years later, his notes show me the remarkable journey I’ve been on. It is impossible to quantify the benefits of our work together so far, however there are three clear breakthroughs in my understanding for which I will always be grateful:
- While I continue to be inspired by other leaders around me, I now have a deep appreciation that I deliver at my best when I am true to my [unique] self. Being myself is what sets my leadership apart from others.
- To a large degree, I have left behind the fear of what others think of me – this has been both liberating and empowering as I now value the fact that only I can do what I do the way that I do it.
- I no longer fear asking for what I need to succeed and I encourage those around me to do the same. In so doing, I am constantly acknowledging that I don’t have all the answers and all the resources within me. I cannot lead alone and I don’t expect that from others. Expressing this enables me to connect better with others and creates a stronger sense of us all being in it together.
Why did you choose me specifically?
Nick is free of gimmicks and false guarantees – this was and continues to be very attractive for me. I chose Nick because of his tangible passion for leadership, his many years of experience, his open mind and his enormous heart.