Post 1 – Agile Team Performance Coaching: my background

I will be coming available for national and international freelance and contracting opportunities from 12 Sep 2016.

In this post, I would like to highlight aspects of my experience, skills and training that I could bring to any organisation.

Professional background:

  •  an experienced Agile / Team / Leadership Coach and Scrum Master, supported by relevant experience, and
  • an experienced project / programme / change / transformation management professional supported by relevant experience

Professional Training and Certification:

  • ICAgile Certified Professional Agile Coaching (ICP-ACC),
  • EMCC Accredited Senior Practitioner Coach (ICF AAC equivalent),
  • Certified Scrum Master (CSM)
  • Lean Kanban Practitioner (LKU)
  • Post Graduate Diploma and Certificate in Coaching & Development
  • Certified Team & Executive Performance Accelerator & Individual Leadership 360 Tool

I have experience of leadership, team coaching and project delivery experience in the following industry sectors:

  • Aerospace, defence & security
  • Communications
  • Entertainment & Media
  • Financial services
  • Government and public services
  • FMCG
  • NGO and charities
  • Technology –
    • Start-ups: IQdos (e-learning), Celoxica (FPGA), ADpoints (online video advertising), Verus360 (FINTECH)
  • Transportation & logistics

Technology, platforms and software that have been part of my delivery experience; no particular order and not extensive:

  • Drupal, EpiServer, Sharepoint, WordPress, Joomla
  • SalesForce CRM, Rally, Confluence, C#, Python, PHP, C++, .Net, TeamCity
  • JIRA, Confluence, A-ha!, MSCRM, Rally
  • Heroku, ACS, Informatica, SkyIQ, CloudSense, Zoura, SAP
  • Java, Oracle, Cougar, Mantis, Jenkins, .Net, ServiceNow
  • Apache, JBOSS / Weblogic, Oracle, Flex, RESTful services
  • Data Warehousing / Dimension Modelling / Business Intelligence
  • Data Analytics (e,g, Kognitio WX2, SAS, SQL, Tableau)
  • Frameworki, Tribal, Careworks, Anite, OpenText, BizTalk, Kofax
  • SQL, NoSQL, SRSS, TOAD, Hyperion, BaseSAS
  • MS Office Suite, Apple Office Suite, Planning Software, MindMaps,
  • Social Media: LinkedIN, G+, Twitter, Google Analytics, Hootsuite

Also, I have over 12 years expertise from the Royal Air Force, working in operational, security and logistical leadership roles. I understand first-hand the cultural differences that global companies face having worked in Africa, Middle East, Europe, Asia, North and South America: working remotely and in-situ.

Thanks for reading and keep a look out for Post 2 – Examples of my ideal next contract…coming soon.

Keeping it real.

In sales, business and life, there are only three things you can control:

  1. your actions
  2. your reactions
  3. your mindset

That’s it. Nothing more.

Instead of whining about the things that are out of control, focus your energy on what you can control or influence – your attitude, choices, emotions, goals, ambitions, dreams, desires.

Stop just wishing and thinking things were easier, stop putting things off because they are hard or difficult.

Take control, ownership and responsibility for YOUR life and what you want from it. Stop blaming everybody else – pointing the finger.


There are no accidents for why you are where you are – you made it happen or you let someone else make it happen for you.

Thanks to ‘Fanatical Prospecting’ – Jeb Blount.

What if…?

Are you embracing what you want to do?
Are you living your version of your life, not someone else’s?
Do you have a vision of what you could be?
#Coaching the possible – get in touch and embrace what could be.

How may more days / weeks / months / years are you going to let drift by before doing something about it.

Are you going to be ‘here’ next year and thinking…what if? If only?

I’m a #UK #London based #Coach with experience / accreditation / professional training and ‘questions‘.

Get in touch and find a way to make it happen.


Team Coaching – Common Issues


Harvard Business Review lists EIGHT problems that teams encounter:

1. Absence of team identity.

2. Difficulty making decisions.

3. Poor communication.

4. Inability to resolve conflicts.

5. Lack of participation.

6. Lack of creativity.

7. Groupthink.

8. Ineffective leadership.

Do you recognise any of these?

As your company continues to grow, and dynamics / markets change, then some of the above may resurface, so: – how do you keep your team consistently high performing?

Thank your for your time.


Team Performance Accelerators

Are you a new #leader or #manager and working with a new #team? Not sure where to focus your energy?

Get in touch for a free into chat about raising awareness and making a dramatic step change to the performance of your team. #Coaching #Team #Leadership #Performance

ETA_TPA introduction_100116 03 (ie)

Please get in touch – 

The ghosts of your dreams

How will the ghosts of your dreams visit you when it’s over.

Your dreams:

  • writing a book
  • being a leader
  • climbing that mountain
  • doing that marathon
  • completing that Ironman
  • getting that degree
  • buying your own house
  • stop drinking
  • complete that diet
  • starting your own company
  • stop smoking
  • to learn a new language
  • spiritual recognition
  • an artist
  • a photographer

Whatever your dream is, how ever your dream materialises in your thoughts – your dreams come to you. Out of the blue, a shot or an image of ‘what could be‘.

When it’s too late to do anything about your dreams and the dreams have died. How will the ghosts of those dreams visit you when its over – when its over, it’s over.

Fearing Fear | Fear of Fear…

Fear of – 

  1. losing your freedom – not just prison
  2. The unknown – new job, new business, new area, new friends
  3. Disappointment
  4. Pain – not just physical
  5. Misery – of doing the same thing
  6. Loneliness – when you are surrounded by people
  7. Ridicule – by your boss, manager, peers, friends
  8. Rejection – does rejection start with you rejecting you or that ‘silly’ idea
  9. Death
  10. Failure – THE TOP SPOT…in front of death > the fear of failing…

fearwhat action or inaction have you done today, that will bring you closer to your personal fear?fear1


“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change -” ― Heraclitus

According to Darwin’s Origin of Species, it is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.’ – Megginson

How do people experience change?

  • What creates an awareness of the need for change?
  • How are we aware of the process of change?
  • How do we become aware when change is realised?


  • As a verb: to make or become different
  • As a noun: an act or process through which something becomes different

Change, Evolve, Adapt, Transform, Transition, Develop, Shift, Advance, Modify, Switch, Innovate, Adjust

Changes in life affect us in many different ways; it shifts and shakes our world, whether for good or bad. Change invites us to look and feel things in a different light: it enables us to create new relationships and draw new perceptions. Think about some of the following key ‘life’ issues that bring about change:

  • addictions
  • bankruptcy
  • career change
  • change in religion
  • changes in education
  • children arrive
  • children leave nest
  • confrontation with authority
  • connecting with symbolic, universal realities
  • different cultures and customs
  • emotional to cognitive processing
  • environmental shifts
  • fame
  • financial windfall
  • left to right brain processing
  • loss of job or income
  • major change in income
  • major dietary changes
  • mid life crisis
  • negative to positive thinking
  • overcoming victim hood and being 100% accountable for everything
  • positive to higher spiritual thinking
  • progressively sensing experiences, lessons, meaning and purpose of all events and encounters
  • purpose – loss of
  • relocation
  • retirement

Now consider about some of the following key ‘business and technology’ issues that bring about change:

  • start-ups
  • management
  • leadership
  • office re-location
  • major expansion or downsizing
  • disruptive technology
  • Holacracy
  • team work
  • virtual workplace
  • e-commerce
  • mergers and acquisitions
  • organisational change
  • agile transformations

 I love this term, as for me, it relates very nicely to change: VUCAvolatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. When the need for change arrives or is anticipated or is forced upon you by circumstance, you have a choice.

A choice can be as simple as: yes, no, not now.

Yes, I am going to accept the uncertainty and ambiguity that change may bring about.

No, I am not to accept the uncertainty and ambiguity that change may bring about.

Not now, …I’ll do it tomorrow, it’s ages away, it’s around the corner so it’s not impacting me now.

Sometimes people, teams and organisations need support to realise and work with change and as a professional coach, this is where I find my reason for being. I love to coach and I like working with the curiosity that’s evoked through the coachee / coach relationship. Best of all: seeing people realise their change, their personal journey.

I’ve experienced huge amounts of change: leaving the RAF, divorce (twice), contracting, from PM to Coach, my MSc studies in Coaching and Development, writing and studying more, my children, working with charities, agile transformations, change management projects and the last, for the moment: giving up alcohol, last drop of wine was Sunday evening, 5 Oct 2014. All this required a shift.

As a coach, I work with a number of models that support change: Gestalt, stages of change model, Systemic & Constellations, TGROW, creative insights, transpersonal (working with the Will), transactional analysis, IDEAL, positive psychology, Appreciative Inquiry, phenomenology to name but a few.

For me, it’s not about being a Leadership, Agile, Team, Life, Business, Career, Executive, Performance Coach: and I’m sure looking at LinkedIn profiles, there’s a few more out there. It’s about being a Coach, not doing Coaching.

Coaching is about supporting change, whether an individual, team or organisation. Coaching is having conversations that evokes a sense of ‘…what could be?’

In the coaching relationship, the answer doesn’t lie with the Coach: it lies with the coachee, as they have the internal resource to come up with the best way forward. They will then own this and hold a responsibility. The Coach draws on a spectrum of coaching, from directed to non-directed.

It’s about holding a natural belief that ALL people, teams and organisations have the ability to achieve greater and higher levels of performance, because we all have ‘potential’.

My Ideas - 28

Figure 1 – Change Cycle

Coaching must also bring about a degree of challenge and the aim of challenge is to raise awareness, create objectivity and build personal responsibility.

In Figure 1, the change cycle, ask yourself or your team or leader – where am I / are we on the journey of change? Have we been thrown in to ‘disorder / chaos’ by change? Are aspects of my life being disrupted by a sense of meaning or purpose, lack of?

Finally, as a Coach that supports and works with change, I don’t need to know the domain knowledge. So I don’t need to know about Java, Python, M&A Financing, Insurance, Banking, Manufacturing: I don’t need to be an expert in their field. This only acts as ‘interference’ and brings on a mind-set of ‘solutionising’.

I will leave you with two quotes that invoke an essence of what Coaching can be.

“You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.”― Galileo

“Coaching is the art of facilitating the development, learning and performance of another” – Downey



What’s your Agile Tolerance?

‘What you put up with you end up with’

‘You deserve what you put up with’

‘You deserve what you tolerate’

I heard someone say this, or a mixture of, on the Agile Coaching course last week.

So in the Agile context, ‘what do you put up with? What do you tolerate?

  • Daily stand-up that last for an hour
  • The SM telling people what to do
  • The PO not being present
  • The management ‘not getting it’
  • Sprint planning lasting a day
  • Backlog items with detailed estimates, in hours / minutes, covering off the next 2 years
  • People not talking
  • Bad behaviour
  • Too many processes
  • Too many bugs
  • Missing sprint goals
  • Scrum-but excuses
  • Lack of responsibility and ownership
  • Command and control
  • Egos
  • Lack of customer engagement
  • And on and on and on…

As an Agile Team member, not just an Agile Coach, not just as a Scrum Master: you have a choice whether to accept, decline or defer (the defer making the choice – just as bad as not doing anything).

If you want to make a stance and stop tolerating poor team and agile practices and values, then do something about it. Have a voice, take control and influence action that drives greater performance.

Within the ‘spheres of influence’ you have the power to control or influence change.

control - influence


Here’s one way: use the retrospective to challenge, discuss and raise awareness. Out of awareness must come action, continuous action by way of continuous development across the team and throughout the organisational boundaries and cultures.

Here’s the hard part. Change doesn’t happen over night and change is hard. If you feel that you don’t have any resources within you or across your team to control or influence, then you are still left with a fantastic, empowering choice – CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE.

Reframing how you experience something you cannot control is down to a few steps:

  • Step 1 – Recognition: recognizing and being aware of how what you are tolerating is affecting you
  • Step 2 – Acceptance: this does not mean that we want to get rid of this. Accepting what we tolerate will help establish a new relationship, so we can see what it has to offer.
  • Step 3 – Co-ordination: How can I co-ordinate what I accept back in to the system.
  • Step 4 – Integration: This is the way that the part can start to work with its other parts in the system.

If re-framing your attitude, like working with failure, doesn’t land or sit with you easily, guess what – you still have a choice: WALK.

If you cannot walk, leave your work, then recognise it for what it is and focus on stuff in the system that you can appreciate.

Focusing and dwelling and leaning in to the negative will bring you down to that level. It will weigh you down when you leave for home, when you go to bed, when you wake up, when you commute in and during your negative, weighted down, steam of relentless poo before it ‘ground-hogs’ your day all over again, and again…


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