About Me

BEFORE YOU READ FURTHER: A coaching relationship is about you, not me. That said, it's important to find a coach you feel is on your wavelength. Personal chemistry matters—a lot. 

 

To that end, this page gives you a sense of who I am as a person, and what I’ve done in my life and career—including how it’s relevant to my work as a coach. It should give you a feel for whether I'm the right coach for you. A 30-minute introductory call, with no obligation, would be a typical next step.

Why I love coaching

I was drawn to becoming a coach for a simple reason: coaching has helped me enormously in my own professional and personal life. Some years ago a wonderful coach massively helped (and possibly even saved) my career as an entrepreneur and a leader. Things were going OK on the surface—but my coach helped me to identify negative attitudes and patterns of behavior that were holding me back. With his help I was able to make both short-term and longer-term fixes. I benefitted from this—and so did the people around me!

I’m now driven to help others in the same way I’ve been helped in my own life and career.

I've been there: my career in a nutshell

I can be a more effective coach, I believe, because I'm able to draw on a wide range of personal and professional experiences, both success and failures. This helps me to relate to the challenges you’re facing.

I’ve spent my career in the educational technology sector, first as an entrepreneur, building up and ultimately selling a series of businesses in the digital learning space. After my third (and most successful) exit, I took some time off before rejoining the world of work as an independent consultant. In this capacity I worked on major learning & development projects for major organizations including McKinsey & Co. ("The McKinsey Academy"), Capital One Bank and Johnson & Johnson. 

I love this work, and I’m still involved (very!) in this sector through my work leading the agency I founded Learn Interactive

These experiences "at the sharp end" of businesses both large and small have given me first-hand experience of the pressures and stresses of the modern workplace. I've been a leader myself (often, at least at first, far out of my depth) and have worked at major companies under leaders both strong and…less strong. This helps me relate to clients ranging from a newly minted manager to those entering the C-suite for the first time, or taking a step up in terms of accountability and stress.

Learning from failure

This is not the place to re-cap the sunny certainties of a LinkedIn profile (although mine’s here if you'd like to read it). I've had a lot of success in my career, but I want you to know about my failures too: what I’ve learned from the lows as well as the highs.

Over the years I’ve failed in many different ways—failures of strategy (mis-reading the market) and execution (choosing the wrong technology) and often of emotional intelligence (failing to sustain important relationships, sometimes damaging them irreparably through damaging behavior). I’ve tried to learn from all these failures and struggles—to “fail better next time”, as the saying goes. I can draw on these first-hand experiences to help you on your own journey.

Global experience

I believe it's useful, too, that I lived and worked in many different countries and cultures. I began my career in London (where I’m from originally), and moved to New York City at the turn of the millennium, in my late twenties. I've spent time working in Paris and Italy, and also India, where I set up an offshore production arm for my learning technology company. (I'm proud to say our company cricket team won the local corporate championship in Pune.)

Image courtesy of Mahesh Gore (a very talented graphic designer, kneeling at far right)

Private passions...

 

I have many interests outside work: I’ve written and recorded a pop song...

...and made a musical cartoon (for no particular reason) summarising the history of Western philosophy...

I’m a keen sportsman—not just cricket but soccer (the game that we Brits call football)—and tennis. I speak French and Italian fluently having studied both at university (I speak a bit of Hindi and Tamil too, from my time in India). I’m a keen reader and sometimes use examples from literature in my coaching sessions (there's a quote in the text above from Samuel Beckett...) I try to bring a good sense of humor to my work as a coach. This is useful as well as fun: finding ways to laugh can spark new ideas, presenting fresh and unexpected perspectives. 

My personality and approach won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. That’s fine, of course—if our relationship doesn’t feel right, I have a carefully curated network of peers and colleagues I can potentially refer you to. An introductory session is usually enough to figure out whether we’re a good match.

Contact me to get the conversation started!

Copyright © 2019 Bruno Kavanagh