Well what a year it has been…. I went into this year in my 30’s and walked out a fully-fledged 40-year-old (of course, I am still hanging on to my youth and look about 39.. wink wink). 2020 is already setting itself up to be a big year for me – with some big decisions on the horizon - some personal, others more aligned to work.
I have spent a lot of time this year reflecting, learning and continuing to understand not only myself but the industry I work within. I am enormously privileged to be able to have a ‘portfolio career’ (fancy word for multiple jobs), but I am mostly grateful to those I have worked alongside. As a C and D student in my early years, I put my interest in human behaviour all down to you – I could never have imagined how much listening, watching and supporting you would lead me to my fascination with mental health, neuroscience and psychology. Each one of you inspire me to learn more every day.
Those that know me personally will know that my mind is bursting with knowledge and ideas. Often it feels like I'm a child in a sweet shop, but this year has brought me great clarity. You see, over the past few years I have tried to fit other people’s moulds and tried to be too many things all at once. Fundamentally, I am not a writer, social media expert, influencer, corporate graduate, salesperson, or a PR/Marketing expert but I'm okay at most of them - I even built my own website check it out www.theperformanceclub.co. I am a person who walked into a mental health job when I was 20 years of age and never looked back. I’m a curious, fascinated helper who simply found a talent in doing what comes naturally to me and if I don’t mind saying so myself - I am also very good at it.
So, whilst I record the odd video here and there – it won’t be perfect. I’m also not out to create the best content – quite frankly I simply don’t have the time, but maybe one day I'll have an amazing content maker in the team who can flourish with my leadership. I am also not out there to compete with the big boys. I can’t. I even ask if you are an organisation who is considering asking me to pitch against such, then I ask you not to consider me – because I will try but I will fail. This overall will save us both time. I have complete clarity that what I/we do as clinicians is something very different – I will get better this year at saying so.
I am proud to say that I am also getting better at asking for what I want and not trying to please everyone. As someone who gives rather than takes, this has started with my own time and where I put that attention - including who I work with. Whilst I believe in collaboration, in fact I belong and thrive in a team, I will no longer work with those who do not fit my own values. All those highly commercial people - who want to work with because they want to money from my ideas, or want to take from me are now a sign of the past. This is self care. I know what I am good at and I want to work with organisations who see the benefit of working with someone like me. I love creating bespoke services and I feel it is sad that there are not more clinicians working in this space. Considering we need to take a more preventative approach, organisations would excel if they brought in clinicians. For me, there is nothing I love more than helping an organisation change the narrative and educate and support their employees. It is what I do best and I love it.
As a consultant, some may talk a lot about who they are working with but I have never been that person. I have had to fight this argument – but I won’t become a victim of social media. If that makes me less money than my counter parts, then so be it. This is not a money game for me - it is a calling. I therefore want to take the opportunity to thank those of you I have worked with over this year and for trusting in me to support and guide you – it’s been great to hear you’re feedback and I look forward to continuing our journey together. My tip for all organisations working with people like me is to be upfront about the budget –creating this collaborative approach from the very start enables us to fit what we can deliver with what resources you have – without wasting either of our time – it also builds trust and respect (both ways). I say this with the best possible kindness.
As a coach working with senior leaders and executives I am well-aware my approach is not typical. But I have been aspired by those of you that have reached out to me unafraid of the challenge. Even the term mental health carries a stigma, but I am grateful that you have been able to see how my knowledge, skills and abilities can take you to the next level - both personally and professionally. So, to my wonderful coachees thank you for trusting me with words that have never been spoken and allowing me to teach you whilst being your greatest cheerleader. I know I have often said things you have not wanted to hear (I appreciate for some C-Suite clients this feedback doesn’t come your way often) – it’s a tough gig working with me but I have loved to see all you grow. Thank you and I will always remain your confidante.
So, next year poses even bigger challenges and opportunities – I’ll be seeking investment and co-founders so if you are keen to get involved to take this mental health space to the next level get in touch – but first have a great Christmas and New Year.
See you all in 2020!
All my love, S x