Question: I was forced to take over my husband’s position as CEO when he died two years ago. The company now has 1,000 employees. Before this, I was the financial director. Now I am in this hot seat and am not comfortable in it. Unlike my late husband, I do not possess his business acumen or leadership qualities. People in the company are now waiting for “something” from me. I am sure they are comparing me with him. I want to get out of his shadows and be just me, not to compete with him but to ensure the long-term future of the company. Please advise me how to do this.

Answer: I am glad you have come to this realisation that it is time to move forward. There are a number of things you could possibly do. First of all, boldly declare your vision and commitment to your organisation and the people. You also need to declare to yourself and your people the kind of leader you want to be for your company. Once you have done that, you need to identify your old patterns and behaviours that will get in the way and fight them when they recur. Keep preparing and strengthening yourself to live in this new future of yours.


  • What new future do you want to see happening for your company and people?
  • What commitment will you make for a compelling future to happen?
  • What are the old patterns of your past that may resurface?
  • What will you do to overcome them?


Question: People call me a “technically clever manager”. With 25 years of experience in managing people, there is indeed nothing that I have not encountered or dealt with. But I feel very lonely up there; people see me as having all the answers and come to me when they have a problem. The greatest pressure is living up to this image and this gets very hard over time; like Tiger Woods finding ways to remain Number One in the face of increasing competition and difficult situations. How can a coach help me to reinvent my relationship with people so that I can be happier, live a life that has less pressure and where there is a meaningful two-way traffic between me and the people I deal with?

Answer: Coaching will give you the opportunity to experience a relationship in which you can express yourself freely, explore ideas and make important decisions to change your current reality. The coach will work with you to craft a blueprint where you can implement with your direct reports, peers and customers.

A coach will help you to bravely take away the “mask” you have been wearing for years and you will become your natural self again. In fact you can bring almost everything onto the coaching table without fear of exposure or judgment. You will gain high self-awareness, new insights and generate more motivation to act on what is needed to make a difference in your life again.


  • Is a trusting relationship with someone important for you to open up?
  • How important is it for you to find a person and place to share your inner feelings and thoughts?
  • Will a delay worsen your current situation?
  • What will you need to do to find this person for this special relationship?

CONTACT FOR FURTHER INFORMATION Call 03-62054488 or log in for programme details. Live and virtual coach-learning is available. To register, copy and paste this link


There are lots of stories that talked about the difficulties to make change happen; whether it is about quitting smoking, becoming more patient, or waking up earlier.  

However, there is a way to make change a little more bearable when we believe that the change we intend to make is already happening when we are prepared to spot it.

This is what this title is all about, that change is taking place “while we are asleep, so to speak”.

We need not go far for there are already many ongoing changes: the physical changes we face as we grow older, the progress of the different seasons year after year although they contain unpredictable elements: the differences in severity of the seasons and the various ways in which time takes its toll on our bodies.

Let me ask you a question:

Suppose you have received feedback from the last 100 students you have taught where 90 per cent of the evaluations are favourable and 10 per cent are negative. You are going to follow up with in-depth interviews and can only talk to one group of people. 

Which group will you want to interview?  The 90 per cent one or the 10 per cent one?

The answer is the 90 per cent group because things are already working well for them (and not focusing on the 10 per cent where things are not working for them).

Hence, we should move away from paying attention on what is not working, but on what is already working.

As coaches or leaders, we make use of platform-building questions while in any problem-solving dialogues with these questions:

  • What do you want to achieve today?
  • How will you know that you have made some progress?
  • What would be the payoff from solving this problem?
  • How confident are you that something can be done about this?
  • When you have tackled this kind of problem before, what was it that was most helpful? 
  • What skills and resources did you discover then?
  • What has been going well for you?

This last question leads us in the direction of “problem-free talk,’’ which can generate evidences of resources, skills and positive events already happening. 

Another way to make change easier is to start with you. You cannot change other people’s behaviour, but you usually need to start by changing your own.  If you are up for that, you are the customer for change to happen.

The issue is often that we push for someone to make the change, rather than be the agent of change, ourselves. This is a natural state, but it is difficult to imagine how to make a difference unless we are willing to play at least some parts ourselves.

So be the customer yourself and to be willing to do something differently, to start or to stop doing something.

In my work as a coach for organisational change, I like to reposition the senior managers as the customers for change in the way of their attitude and behaviours. In this way, they can influence the middle managers and others to make the change.

So change is not so difficult when we look for things that are already working and when we set ourselves up as the customer for the change itself before others. There is an adage that says about this very well: Work on what you can control than with what you cannot control. This happens to be you and me!  


Call 03-62054488 or log in for programme details. Live and virtual coach-learning is available. To register, copy and paste this link