A few months ago, I started coaching a leading UK architect, Aiko, who manages a large team of architects in London.
The case study below outlines how setting up a clear vision can impact a multi-million project.
Aiko moved to the UK when he was 20. The mindset that made him a successful architect was not serving him anymore. He felt he was ‘getting in his own way’ and was able to perform better. He was not sure where to start.
Coming from Asia, he felt that he had to work twice as hard as anyone else to climb his way up during 20+ years: Learn the English language, understand and adapt to a new culture, develop a more extrovert personality…
His key questions were:
What is holding me back?
How can I perform to a higher standard?
What’s the next big milestone in my life?
Our initial coaching sessions:
During our first session, we recognise that Aiko was sensitive to what people would say and think about him. We then decided to solidify his core personality and personal vision for himself. We looked specifically at who he deeply wanted to become.
Our second session revealed that he has been downplaying his potential. Trying to fit in for years, doing what he was asked to deliver. We unboxed this mindset. By acknowledging his successes, he realised also that he had what it takes to become one of the best architects in the world. In a few sessions he managed to craft a powerful vision. By this, I mean a vision that he was excited about but also…scared of.
Here is what happened in the following weeks…
For months, Aiko had been working on a multi-million pounds project. The final presentation to the client was coming soon.
With his new vision in mind – becoming one of the best architects in the world – he realised that what was originally pitched to the client was not at the right level, not ambitious enough, not creative enough.
He engaged his team to re-work the project and improve the presentation.
A few days before the presentation, he had a meeting with his manager who realised that this was completely different from the original project. The manager asked Aiko if he was confident about his decision to change the project so deeply.
Aiko recalls this moment as being a test moment, the kind of moment where seconds feel like minutes… This was the very first test for his new vision.
The presentation was delivered – it was a complete success.
His team could start to deliver the project he envisioned.
Learning from this case study:
Aiko realised that he had been unconsciously under-achieving for years. A clear vision has allowed him to reach a higher performance.
He also realised that someone else’s opinion of him does not have to become his reality. Setting up a vision has given him a clear direction, which makes him more focused and decisive.
As a coach, I knew big changes were coming. I simply did not know where it would materialise first. His courage to take the first steps opened new opportunities for him.
Questions to go further:
Note: For confidentiality and the purpose of the case study, I have named the coachee Aiko.
Executive Coach Alex Kergall supports his clients to raise their game. They are Elite Athletes, Executives and Emerging Leaders. What do they all have in common? A deep desire to grow.
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