Executive and Leadership Coaching

Leadership coaching is primarily about learning and growth. There is no set program, as your coaching program will be designed to meet your individual needs. We will focus on your strengths and explore any shifts you might need to make to enhance your performance or improve your wellbeing (because wellbeing is a prerequisite for performance). 

The origins of coaching date back a very long way, but its roots appear to be in sports coaching. In the 1970s and 1980s other types of coaching developed and by the end of the 20th century coaching was being widely used. There are now many different types of coaching: life coaching, business coaching, career coaching, executive coaching, leadership coaching.

Coaching differs from other development interventions (such as counselling, mentoring, therapy etc) in that a coach does not advise or train. A coach will never say “you should…” or “this is how you should do it…”. In a coaching relationship the client decides what needs to be changed and why the change is needed.

A great coach will provide you with support (it should feel like your coach is truly in “your corner”), listen deeply and ask questions. Questions are the coach’s most valuable tool and asking the right questions is ultimately what creates awareness and leads to real change.

Thank you so much for helping me ask the tough questions.

Julie asked the ‘right questions’ that made me go into previous issues or concerns and work through these to become stronger, more confident in myself and my own abilities. 

Coaching will only be successful when both parties are committed to the process. As the coaching client, you must be prepared to strive for change and your coach must be able to provide the support that’s right for you.

This might find this blog post useful when you are trying to choose the right a coach

Want to understand more about Executive and Leadership Coaching?

If you’re still struggling to get your head around what Executive Coaching is, I highly recommend listening to this podcast called The Coach in Your Head (Against the Rules with Michael Lewis). Even if you only listen to the first 12 minutes, you’ll learn something valuable. 

Just about anyone today can call themselves a coach. Michael traces this trend back to its source and finds out that the secret to effective coaching lies not in retraining the body, but the mind. We meet the original guru of “the inner game”: Timothy Gallwey, author of the 1974 classic, “The Inner Game of Tennis.” We find out how mental skills coaches only need one coaching toolkit to work with everyone from New York City firefighters, youth softball players, professional musicians, and even writers with a podcast.

“The opponent within one’s own head is more formidable
than the one the other side of the net.”
Quote by Timothy Gallwey, ‘The Inner Game of Tennis’

Julie is an Executive and Leadership Coach.

Prior to training as an organisational coach, Julie enjoyed a highly successful 25-year career as a senior leader in the higher education sector. She led teams of varying sizes and held executive roles, managing complex functional areas such as student administration and academic facilities. 

Julie brings extensive experience in resolution of strategic and operational issues, and coordination of projects and initiatives demanding high levels of confidentiality and multiple stakeholder engagement.

Her areas of expertise include:

  • Impactful influencing and leadership
  • Interpersonal awareness and effective communication
  • Wellbeing strategies – confidence, resilience and self-care
  • Responding (instead of reacting) to conflict
  • Giving and receiving effective feedback
  • Building better relationships
  • Planning for progression
  • Work-life integration

Examples of Coaching Engagements

  • Executive Director, Higher Education – Team Coaching with a group of senior professional staff. This resulted in increased trust within the team and improved communication.
  • Associate Director, Global Bank – Skills Coaching to build leadership capability in delivering effective feedback and conducting performance conversations. The client began to work on developing a feedback culture, enabling the growth of individuals and lifting team performance.
  • Deputy Principal, Education – Developmental Coaching to shift mindset and behaviour, as part of preparing for a role at the next level. Confidence increased and client successfully secured a Principal role.
  • Senior Defence Scientist, Australian Defence Organisation – Skills Coaching around difficult conversations, managing behavioural issues and poor performance within the team. The client was more impactful in their new role, which involved leading significant change.
  • General Manager, Global Media Company – Executive Coaching to regain focus and reignite passion for leadership. The client developed renewed confidence in their ability to manage an inter-generational team, which reduced anxiety levels and increased cohesiveness within the team.
  • Program Manager, Health Not-for-Profit – Developmental Coaching to grow emotional intelligence and acquire new skills in emotional agility, following a difficult workplace incident. The client returned to a challenging role with improved interpersonal skills and greater wellbeing.
  • Senior Manager, Digital Marketing – Developmental Coaching, with a focus on personal brand. Client began to flex their leadership style, which led to increased authenticity and greater impact.
  • Senior Project Manager, Multinational Engineering Firm – Career Coaching to uncover long-term career aspirations. The result was increased clarity and focus, combined with the motivation and confidence to pursue the identified goal. The client successfully achieved a promotion to Lead Planner.
  • Professor and Centre Director, Higher Education – Developmental Coaching to manage workload and mitigate burnout. The client made significant changes and improved their work-life integration.

“Julie is highly perceptive and deeply insightful. She helped me identify critical issues that I needed to address personally, as well as the issues that were affecting my working relationship with my teams and issues within and between my teams. She suggested practical approaches and actions that I could take – which I did – that led to fruitful and helpful conversations and interactions in the organisation, which in turn led to positive results in staff morale, behaviour, and performance.”

Australian Head, International University (2020)

Organisations I have enjoyed working with include: 

  • NSW Department of Education
  • SA Dept for Education & Child Development
    Working with leaders and leadership teams in public and independent schools across the state.
  • Department of Education and Training, Victoria
  • Australian Higher Education Sector:
    University of Adelaide, University of South Australia, Flinders University, University of New South Wales.
  • Department of Defence, Australia
  • ARUP (Adelaide)
  • Rio Tinto (Global)
  • Energy Australia (National)
  • AGL Energy (National)
  • HSBC Bank (Global)
  • Baptcare (National)
  • Toll (National)
  • Qlik (Global)
  • Aegis Dentsu Network (Australia and Global)
  • Heart Foundation (National)

A colleague recently wrote a great piece about Leadership Coaching and the role of a leadership coach is beautifully summarised here:

When a leader has all the technical excellence, knowledge and resources to achieve a desired outcome, but is unable to make the difference they need or want in the space they work, more training is often not the answer. Leaders need something much more personal and involved: leadership coaching.

Leadership coaching is “tailored to the individual”, or rather, a bespoke development process for leaders that is achieved in partnership with a coach. The coach’s role is that of ally who, from the outset, believes that the leader has unlimited potential to achieve the goal or outcome that they have set for themselves.

The coach’s role is to help remove the obstacles that stand in the way of the leader attaining their goals. This is achieved through careful questioning and deep listening. The coach steps into the world of the coachee while maintaining a careful distance of objectivity, whereby they can gradually help the leader work through whatever is in the way of achieving the objective (either mental or emotional hurdles, such as beliefs, habits or fears). Through a process of inviting introspection and self-reflection, the coach helps the coachee clear a path for success.

Coaches don’t solve problems for the coachees, as the coachees are the experts in their own lives. Rather, the coach helps clarify and crystalize the goal, and aids the individual in finding their solution and committing to the action that will move the goal forward. The coach also follows up to see that it is achieved, and if not, invites more discourse and learning on this issue.