What can I say except that when ‘The Letter’ came through from the Cabinet Office I thought it was either a hoax, or another daft mail-out from SAGA trying to sell me a holiday. I chucked it across the kitchen!
To say I’m absolutely amazed and soooo proud would be an underestimation of how I feel right now. It’s almost a vindication of the hard road I’ve travelled all my life, and will help to hold me accountable for continuing to share my wisdom with the hundreds of people I touch every year.
I am a very proud coach and mentor to a shed-load of award winning folks and companies but it’s not something I’m used to experiencing for myself: The only other award I ever garnered was a book on ‘Careers in the Civil Service’ (!!) as a flower arranging prize when I was 13yo. I was deeply disappointed and gave up flower arranging for good!
The OBE is “For services to women and minority groups in business”: Some of you may know that I’ve had a very eclectic career, and part of that experience as been working with the Dept of Trade and Industry’s Small Business Service (now Dept of Business) as a champion for women’s enterprise. This included, apart from many other policy, programme development and task force roles, helping to develop the economic case that demonstrated the huge contribution women in business could make to UK plc if we could encourage more to start and grow their own businesses. Similarly, with minority ethnic groups who are already hugely entrepreneurial – encouraging the development of the right kind of business support and increasing access to finance was and still is, vital.
In many other ways May was a great month. I continued to work with great coachees very keen to develop their communication and presentation skills, their authentic and effective leader skills, and have been unpacking more meaningful self-analysis for them via Motivational Map technology.
On the 7th May I stayed at the lovely Emmaus House in Clifton, Bristol for a couple of days of rest and learning (beach holidays don’t work for me). It was great CPD focused on unlocking the key to Myers Briggs Type Dynamics and hugely useful for my coaching practice. In addition the incredibly tranquil surroundings thanks to a wonderful kitchen garden and extensive views across Bristol, made it a most relaxing stay.
Mid-month saw me ‘strutting my stuff’ for a PEARLS event at Microsoft HQ in Victoria, London where I delivered a masterclass and Q&A session on resilience to nearly 200 women professionals. It was a great experience and as always, made me think hard when I was out on my American Quarter Horse Che the following day, recharging my batteries and reflecting on ‘the human condition’.
June is shaping up to be a month of celebration as well as full on work-wise. I’m just looking forward to when my lovely peonies start flowering as they’re very late this year… “good things come to those that wait”. But here’s the thing or the ‘Eye Opener’… only once you’ve put the work in!