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?

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