No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Coaches Diary: Taking Time Out To Work on ‘Me’ Plc


As Michael sat in front of me, his head in his hands, I was reminded that the toughest person to manage is usually oneself. Michael had booked an “end-of-year” appointment with me – determined that 2006 wouldn’t be a repeat of 2005.

While Michael’s business appeared to be growing well, it was at some considerable cost to himself. He had put on two stone over the year partly as a result of his poor eating habits and also because he was no longer finding the time to go to the gym.

He also admitted that even though he had a very strong relationship with his wife he was concerned that they were both heading towards a “brother-sister” type of relationship as his chronic exhaustion had caused a dramatic drop in his sex drive.

I asked Michael what his personal goals for 2003 had been. He blanked face revealed his answer. While he had set goals for his business and his staff he had completely neglected his own personal aspirations.

As comprehension began to dawn, Michael smiled and could see that perhaps there was going to be light at the end of the tunnel after all. Recognising that Michael was both practical and analytical, I suggested that he should approach his personal strategy for next year in the same way that he approached his business targets.

Looking relieved that he would be allowed to remain in his comfort zone and that he would not be asked to undertake any “touchy/feely” practices, I handed Michael a short template document I had created for just such eventualities.

First, Michael completed a personal SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) analysis which enabled him to see which areas needed focus for his personal aims and objectives.

Returning to the room with a fresh coffee for us both, I then suggested that Michael would need to set himself SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Ritten & Timed) goals in the following seven areas: Health, Marriage, Family, Home, Holidays, Career, Finances. As this would take longer than our session would allow, he agreed to write the goals as homework complete with action plans for how he would achieve them.

Before embarking on the task ahead, I suggested to Michael that he look objectively at himself, as though he were a company. I told him about a previous client who had appointed himself a personal board of directors in his imagination only for “ME PLC”, on whom he could call for advice.

Michael could see the sense in the idea and he quickly jotted down the job titles including:

  • Chairman and CEO - Delivering vision, strategy and goals.

  • Managing Director - Delivering the above and maintaining attitude.

  • Sales Director - Responsible for sales (especially to wife and family!)

  • Finance Director - Responsible for the financial goals of "Me PLC!"

  • Administration Director - Responsible for scheduling time for himself and his family.

  • Human Resources Director - Responsible for personal development and health.

Armed with his notes and the beginnings of his own personal action plan for 2004, Michael stood up to leave. Smiling, he not only promised to report back but also booked quarterly coaching sessions with me for next year, just to ensure that he kept on track!

Olivia Stefanino is a leadership development consultant and executive coach, who works with blue chip organisations, SMEs and individuals. To find out more and to download your free e-booklet “128 ways to harness your personal power”, visit


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!