We hear a lot these days about ‘finding our purpose’; another way of saying ‘listen to your heart’
to discover what you really care about. It sounds simple, but we’ve often forgotten how to do it.
My career story - so far...
I left Oxford University in the late-80's with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) and a hotly contested place in the elite echelons of the British Civil Service, one of the expected routes following a degree in PPE.
Agency, dance and Non-profit:
Feeling the pull to pursue more creative leanings, I took a year off to work in an advertising agency and as a semi-professional dancer in a commercial dance company, pursuing a lifelong passion for dance in all its forms. Within 6 months I had turned down the Service place and moved to work with one of the agency's clients, a high profile charity, as a professional fund-raiser at a time when our Patron, Princess Diana, and Live Aid were bringing glamour to the field. We organised fashion shows and boxing matches and corporate sponsorship of campaigns with young people.
Law and Media:
My frustration at the lack of career path in the non-profit sector persuaded me in my mid-20's to look for another path, and to the delight of my family I chose to follow a traditional choice and headed to Law School in Chancery Lane, London.
4 years later I was a fully qualified and trained solicitor with a City firm and my love of the arts and creative businesses had me specialising in Media Law, working with agencies, film producers, writers, animators and musicians.
Realising that I enjoyed working with clients more than the law itself, I moved in-house as a young lawyer to an Acting Head of Legal position in a subsidiary TV company in a large media group.
Moving to Asia:
When the chance to take a role in my mother's home country, Singapore appeared, I put up my hand and moved to Asia as General Manager for Pearson TV. It was 1997 and the beginning of the Asian Crisis of the late 90's . Nothing in my education had prepared me for trying to navigating the effects of currency crashes and riots on the business and I watched the small P&L for which I was responsible become smaller still.
MBA and a return to business:
Realising I lacked crucial understanding about the people aspects of doing business, I negotiated a sabbatical for my MBA at INSEAD Business School in Singapore and France and when I returned in 2001, a lot had turned around both within me and in the market and I was promoted to Regional MD for Asia.
My return coincided with the company's launch of the Idol series and as American Idol became a huge hit, there was a clamour around the world for local versions. For the next few years I was tasked with growing the business in keeping with the new demand and booming market for Idol and other reality TV in Asia.
Growing from 2 - 6 offices across Asia with little resource took a stupid amount of travel, a fantastic team and the support of coaches and mentors who sparked my interest in the philosophy of leadership and how to be human in the vicissitudes of leading global businesses.
Finding the Golden Thread:
In 2006 while pregnant with my son I did some work with my coach which had me realise that in all my roles what I found rewarding was supporting clients and colleagues to navigate difficult problems and transitions with more grace and ease and emerge with greater capability. I decided to dedicate the rest of my career to asking the deeper questions about business and leadership and left my fun role and lovely colleagues to enrol in the first of many coach trainings and the world of developing people and communities.
I was a board member for several of the Pearson and Bertelsmann Asian subsidiaries and continue to serve on the boards and advisory boards of non- profit and for-profit enterprises in the field of learning and development.
Education and professional training
My BA is in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University and an MBA from INSEAD. I qualified as a lawyer in the UK and later as a Mediator in Singapore.
Accredited with the International Coach Federation at PCC level, I have been trained and certified in a variety of coaching methodologies including Results Coaching Systems and Integral Coaching. I have a post Graduate diploma in positive business psychology accredited by the National Council of Psychotherapists, UK, and am trained as both a Pilates teacher and a Yoga teacher
Fields of interest
I currently work mainly with individuals, teams or organisations undergoing transitions. I'm interested in building resilience against the stresses this can entail and leaning into the transition as an opportunity for regeneration and reformation towards greater work-life flow. I have a track record working with individuals identified as gifted and talented in fields such as law, medicine, academia, government and technology and my intention is to help my clients cultivate greater clear-headedness, whole-heartedness and embodied awareness in order to bring their whole selves and best game to life
I am of British and Chinese descent and live in Singapore with my teenage son. I have lived, worked and studied in 5 countries and continue to work and study across Asia and beyond. As well as music, dance and forms of mainstream art I am often to be found exploring in the fringes to see what might be useful to bring back to clients