My Winding Path to Becoming a Coach.
Growing up, from about 7 years of age I became fascinated with coaching. I would listen intently to my father’s Farm Advisor at the dinner table help my father find ways he could improve each of my father’s farms. As I grew older, I started also going to farm discussion groups. This is where a group of farmers visit another farmer’s farm to observe, identify issues and propose and discuss solutions which is led by a Farm Advisor.
One of the jobs my father gave me while I was growing up was to take down the details of applicants applying to work on my father’s farms. Knowing what my father was looking for coupled with my fledgling intuition. I was able to reliably predict who my father would employ. There was one year where my father chose someone else, that person soon didn’t work out and my father ended up hiring the person I thought he should.
Being exposed to the practice of observing, identifying issues and finding solutions to improve processes on the farm discussion groups I attended started to prove to be really useful for me.
My Start In Process Improvement
As I grew older my father would increasingly give me more tasks to do around the house and on the farm. This caused me to struggle to have free time. Using the skills, I’d been exposed to, I started working out how I could more efficiently and effectively get my tasks completed so I could claw back some free time.
As soon as my father found that I had completed a task I was rewarded with another task. It was like whack a mole. This led me to becoming almost obsessed with looking for ways to improve processes to do things efficiently and effectively. Later when I joined the workforce, the habit stayed with me and it’s something that’s now hard wired in me.
Learning To Trust My Intuition
On leaving school I started farming and within a few years realised farming wasn’t for me. I hadn’t really thought about what I wanted to do after I left school. So, this led me on to navigating a maze of different jobs, spanning many different industries as I progressively got clearer and clearer on what I wanted to do.
One of the more enjoyable jobs I had was as a motorcycle courier in London. This was back in the days before mobile phones and GPS. So, navigation was either a matter of constantly referring to street directories or memorising all the streets in London. Learning your way around all the London streets is something that takes a Cabbie, someone who drives a Black London Cab 5 years to learn “The Knowledge” as it’s called.
My work permit was for only 2 years, so I needed another solution if I was to make good money. I stumbled across a third option; I’d look at the street directory get a general idea of the direction I needed to take, as memorising directions didn’t work for me. Then I’d follow my intuition on what turns to take and when nothing was coming through, I’d pull over and refer back to the directory.
A Major Clue
Some years later I found myself in a job with the opportunity to transform a small food manufacturing factory into a profitable business. The business had been purchased and relocated but had not made a profit in the 5 years since it’d been purchased. I was given 3 months to see if I could get the business to show signs that it could become profitable or the doors would be closed.
Again, I followed the same proven formula of combining data, in this case recipes and my intuition to improve processes. This time I also incorporated suggestions from the staff which helped accelerate the rate of progress and dramatically boosted morale. Slowly things started to turn around, wastage decreased, and production started to increase as did the orders for products. After 3 months there was enough progress to warrant keeping the doors open. After 6 months the business was breaking even and by 9 months it was finally making a profit.
The jobs that followed provided me with few opportunities to help transform business processes which I find so fulfilling. This led me down the path of completing numerous personal development courses and business studies outside of work to transform myself. The goal was that at some point in the future I could create my own business. I still didn’t know what that business would be and over the years I explored a number of different options. But nothing really gelled with me, and I always walked away with useful knowledge and insights I’d later use.
It Became Clear
One day while listening to one of the many podcasts I’d selected to help transform myself, the presenter began talking about a course that was being run to learn how to become a Human Potential Coach. My intuition immediately kicked in and knew that I should do the course. I began to see how what I loved doing and how my skills, studies and experience would all come together. Becoming a coach with all my skills, studies and years of experience would give me the ability to provide a uniquely different type of coaching.
So, What Is It That Inspires Leonard?
For some reason I feel constantly called to learn more about coaching, business and a host of other topics. I love testing what I’ve learn on myself and share what’s worked for me with my coaching clients. The constant drive to discover and test new sources of wisdom I find fun and exciting. It’s led me to study with many individuals widely recognised for their contribution in helping to advance mankind. None more so than human behaviour expert Dr John F Demartini. Over the years I’ve attended many of John’s lectures and a number of his intense life transforming courses.
As I continue studying it never stops ceasing to amaze me the invisible threads which I’m finding that link together what appear to be seemly unrelated things that I’ve studied. It results in me gaining a much deeper understanding, more holistic view and greater appreciation of the interrelatedness of everything and the relationship with processes. What may work in my favour with this is that I often have an unconventional way of seeing things. I find it incredibly easy to look at something from a number for different perspectives which provides me with a more holistic view.
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We rise to great heights by a winding staircase of small steps. — Francis Bacon
I acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional custodians of Australia. I acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation are the traditional custodians of this place we now call Sydney and that the land was never ceded.