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Happy Birthday to The Executive Mindset

After working in coaching for over 20 years, in 2021 we added mental fitness coaching (PQ) to our arsenal of coaching methods for business leaders and took the opportunity to re-launch ourselves as The Executive Mindset. As we celebrate our one-year anniversary, Graham and fellow coach Tara discuss what we have learnt in our first year, the success stories we have witnessed from our clients, our personal highlights, and how we will be progressing in the next year.



This week on The Coaching Conversation, I'm joined by Tara Ryder, who is one of my fellow PQ coaches, and we have a small celebration’ so please allow us to indulge ourselves. We are one year old as The Executive Mindset. We've been coaching for decades, but with the advent of our mental fitness programme, we decided to relaunch ourselves as The Executive Mindset. And as I say, this is our first-year anniversary, so we put a lot of thought into it, and we thought that we should ask ourselves some questions about what's happened in this last year, what have we learned, and what are we going to take forward into the next year. It's a bit of self-indulgence, but we hope you find it interesting.

Question 1: After coaching and mentoring countless businesses and executives over your 20-year career, how is The Executive Mindset different? That's really quite easy. Historically, we didn't have a mental fitness service, so we focused exclusively on helping business executives, business owners, and their teams to be the people that wanted to be, and to achieve the things they wanted to achieve during the course of a coaching programme. With the addition of our PQ coaching programme (initially the six-week intensive course followed by the ongoing support programme) to help people build and keep their mental fitness. We've strengthened the offering for our clients and more importantly, we've created an offering for new clients that we were perhaps not expecting.

Question 2: How have your clients responded to PQ coaching? Incredibly, excitingly, and amazingly well. It is a transformational programme, even on its own outside of the executive coaching; it helps people take control of the way in which they approach life, and the way in which they deal with life's stresses and strains. It has been, for many people, we take through the programme, revelatory. The feedback we've had from them, and you can see it on our website, absolutely confirms this.

Question 3: As you reflect on the past year, what are some of the success stories that you've witnessed? Well, first of all, actually combining the PQ programme with some team coaching, you get really amazing results where the whole of the operational team within an organisation suddenly has a new working system, a new programme, a new vocabulary, and a way of collaborating, which is much more powerful, much more empathetic than it was before. And that has been transforming for those people and those organisations. Also, for the individuals, some of the changes to their lives and their approach to life have been so amazing that it's been a privilege, a joy to see.

Question 4: What have you learned from this year that you will build on the next year? We started by adding PQ coaching to our ordinary executive coaching, then we concentrated on building it as a standalone service. And that primarily is focused on businesses, business leaders and their teams, and coaching them within pods - within small groups of five to 10 people at a time. And as we've gone through, and we've got a wider offering or more experienced, we found that not only can we do it in groups, but it's really, really exciting to do on a one-to-one basis as well. So, not only have we been doing it for the people in the business, but we've also been working with their families and friends. And again, that unlocks a whole new opportunity for us as well as for those clients.

Question 5: What have been your personal highlights from The Executive Mindset’s first year? I always enjoy the success and celebrate those successful people going through any coaching programme because it's a privilege to be able to help people to be the people that want to be and to achieve the things they want to achieve. That has continued. And obviously, it's been a successful year with that, folding in the mental fitness programme, the PQ programme has added that additional dimension and it's really, not just doubled the enthusiasm that the value of what we do, but it's also done that by an exponential number. It's been an absolute pleasure to see people say the things they have said, as you'll see on our website, about this programme and what it can do for them.

Question 6: This year, we also launched your podcast, The Coaching Conversation, can you tell us a bit more about it? Well, The Coaching Conversation, apart from this edition, offers insights, information and support to the audience in much the same way an ordinary coaching session would. Clearly is not the same - it's a one-way transmission of information - but we're trying to tackle a wide variety of subjects that would typically come up in our experience in a coaching programme with business executives.

Question 7: How is a coaching podcast different to coaching face to face? Well, the first thing as I said a moment ago, is it's a one-way street, I'm with my guests broadcasting information, we're not engaging in questions and answers with a coach, i.e., we're not helping them work out the solutions to their problems, what we're actually doing is proposing the problem and explaining how in our experience, people have tackled them. It tends to be a lot shorter; the podcast tends to be somewhere between 15 minutes and 30 minutes. Whereas a one-to-one coaching session is normally two hours. And again, we will undertake those conversations normally on a monthly basis. And if necessary, during conversations between those two coaching sessions, they will be the major differences. Obviously, the other thing is the podcast reaches a much wider audience - it's not a private confidential one to one session, it's an open recording, that allows people to share this kind of insight.

Question 8: What are your goals for The Executive Mindset for the upcoming year? We want to continue to grow the offering, we want to continue to help more people, and we certainly want to continue with the mainstream executive one to one coaching. We want to grow the mental fitness offer, both in terms of the number of people that we help, but also the kinds of people we help; I mentioned earlier about the one-to-one offering, that seems to really strike a chord, and we want to be able to help more and more of those people. We also want to develop the people that have already completed the course as they continue to work on their mental fitness. We're working continuously to help them build these muscles; build these mental fitness skills on a continuous basis so that they continue to enjoy the benefits that it offers. So, we've got a lot that we're working on, a lot to go after, but broadly speaking, helping more people. And those people have already helped to grow and develop further.

Now a question for Tara because this has been her first year as a PQ coach. How do you think your clients are responding to PQ coaching? Very positively. I've had a lot of feedback from clients on an individual basis where they said it change their lives, their whole view on circumstances that they have happening at the moment, and how they're approaching things far more positively. They feel more content, they feel that they can cope with whatever it is that's happening. I think that in itself explains it. We have people coping with situations rather than just potentially supporting them; actually giving them strategies to cope with what's going on.

Question for Tara: What in particular have you learnt about PQ coaching this year that you perhaps didn't know before? I think for me, it's realising the impact that it can have on people and their lives, and realising that this is not originally looking at business; this works on a personal basis as well. For me, I've gone down that avenue and realised that this can have such a great impact on people's mothers, brothers, sisters, and children - whoever it be - and this is far more wide-reaching than I actually appreciated at the start.

Well, we're off to celebrate our one-year anniversary as The Executive Mindset so we look forward to seeing you again soon. Goodbye.


So, there you have it, the latest edition of The Coaching Conversation. I hope you found it interesting. I hope you found it useful. You can find out more about our coaching programmes at

If you want to reach out you can send us an email at you can book a free 15-minute coaching session at which will give you a really good feel for how coaching can help you.

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