It was 1992; after more than a decade of operational duties, I had left my life as a Senior Royal Marine Commando 2 years prior and was working as an internal leadership coach for a large motor dealer group in the UK. I had plenty of front-line operational leadership experience working in volatile “competitive” environments but little business experience. That was all about to change.
My leadership and team coaching had a direct positive effect on people’s morale and the business’s performance, so much so that my boss after several very experienced senior people had failed, decided I was to take direct responsibility for the turnaround of a multi £m division of the business. Time to step up, stop talking, and start doing.
I was taught in a past life that without understanding where you are going, any direction would do. Those operational duties also taught me; a more complex environment demands more Leadership, not less. If a void in Leadership exists, morale can quickly deteriorate, and a team can become distracted by Leadership that is not necessarily the type of Leadership you require.
Favouring a Coaching style and Motivating my team, my approach succeeded where others had failed. And that was when my business career all started.