Apparently if you know my back story it helps you to work out if I am the right kind of person to work with you, it helps you understand if we'd be right for each other - and so here it is - I have tried to be honest and open about my back story - if I sound like someone you would like to work with - amazing, if not, click away as soon as you work that out....
I have a background in corporates doing mostly some form of business improvement work – I loved my time here but I always new I wanted to do my own thing.
I set up a company (unrelated to this work) to help me exit which I still run in the background today – this business taught me so much about life as a business owner and the world of SMEs – this has given me a very well rounded view of life in both worlds.
After I left corporates I also dove into some quite in depth personal work addressing a number of personal fears and insecurities – it became rapidly apparent that I had a mountain of unhelpful behaviour – I was way more afraid, arrogant, and naïve than I could have imagined.
So I allowed someone to guide me to address a lot of this, and to some degree that work will always carry on.
I learnt a lot about my relationships and in particular with my wife and children – I was way more angry than I realised – I was way more inconsiderate than I realised, I was way more gung-ho than I realised, and I was more controlling than I realised – not great.
It needed to be addressed and so I put my business on hold while I did that.
There were a number of bad moments – I remember one day telling my daughter off and as I watched her face I saw her emotionally withdraw – in one instant she had left – she was no longer as emotionally involved in this conversation – it was too painful for her – she was now doing her best to protect herself.
It struck me like a ton of bricks – I was wrong.
I realised that day that the impact we can have on our children is far greater than we can imagine – I still get it wrong a lot – I do my best to admit it and correct as much as I can – I am open with my children and my wife and we try to create an open environment where we can admit our errors, and we try to give each other some space to make mistakes and occasionally be a down right grumpy old toad.
This is just one event – there were so many – one after the other after the other – and I had to learn how to correct and to stop the things that were so damaging to myself and my relationships.
It taught me so much about behaviour, fear, insecurities, what works and what doesn’t work.
I knew I wanted to share what I had learnt in a workplace setting – that’s where my passion lied – but what I struggled with for a long time was how do I do that in a way that others will understand – how will they understand how it will add value to them and how they can apply it in a relevant way.
I had a consulting client I was working with and we wanted to give greater clarity to their team about what good looked like and what we expected, while also making clearer what path they can follow through their current role and into their next one – I knew that the clearer we can make this the greater level of responsibility each person can take for their own situation and responsibility is a core part of our personal happiness. I also knew that typically there is so much confusion in the workplace today about what is expected and what good looks like so I wanted to make sure all of that was clear.
This was my “aha” moment.
I could build a whole performance process built on the foundations of all that I had learnt – I could give guidance about how you build a performance process that enables staff to grow and learn and helps them to be clear about what they need to do, to facilitate healthy conversations and create healthy relationships at the same time – and finally one that holds people accountable.
And so Pathway was born.
What I'm doing now.....
I later realised that Pathway was a huge step forward in creating healthier, happier, more productive, higher performing and more accountable environments but a clients business didn’t actually have to carbon copy the process – what they do need to do is learn and apply the same fundamental principles that makes Pathway work and either change what they are doing, or simply apply them principles to what they are already doing.
I realised that one manager or one leader could have a profound effect applying sound principles and I learnt that you can consistently turn around under performing teams.
I found that as we applied the principles where there was under performance existed those people tended to either leave, dropped to lower / different positions more suited to them or they upped their game significantly – simply because we kept driving an open, transparent, high performing and accountable environment, and where under performance continued we were able to then manage that via the normal HR processes with much more clarity and ease.
And this is what I do now – I help organisations, teams, companies, and business units to create open, transparent, clear, accountable and happier environments – and boy, is it better working there.
In one client there was a middle manager who said “people phoning in late or sick was the bane of my life, at least three days a week I would have someone who was late or sick and I had to arrange cover. My life has been transformed, in the last three months I’ve had one absence and not one member of staff late for work, and they all seem so much happier too, it feels like a team”