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Coach’s Diary: Adopting a Better Way of Doing Business


A dream of creating a business that treats its staff as family has deep-seated roots for Olivia Stefanino's latest client.

Barry smiled as he told me that he always had known that one day he would be rich. He had big dreams of running a company which looked after its staff as though they were family.

He had no idea how this would happen...but just the conviction that he had enough determination to turn his dream into reality. I too, could see that Barry had the potential for success. However, at the moment his neediness was getting in the way of his objectives.

For Barry was adopted – and his underlying reason for needing to set up a business was that he wanted to create the family he had never had. Moreover, he would be in charge of the company – giving him control over others – and by paying their salaries he was hoping that he could buy their loyalty too.

None of this had been apparent to Barry before our discussion – but his face flushed and he admitted that I was right when faced with the truth of the situation.

We agreed that before Barry was going to reach the heights of success, he would first need to sort himself out. He decided to do this by signing up to an ongoing coaching programme.

First Barry would need to look deep inside himself to discover what his purpose was in life. He would also need to forgive his mother for abandoning him as a baby – and recognise that through learning about himself and his issues of abandonment and trust, his adoption would ultimately leave him with a greater inner strength.

He also understood that further down the line, his coaching programme would help him discover exactly what business he wanted to create. His dreams of running a successful business were not sufficient to manifest the reality. First, Barry would need a strong and unique business idea – coupled with drive and enthusiasm - to create a thriving company.

Barry’s coaching programme would also involve him learning about leadership. Following our initial discussion, Barry understood that leading his staff meant serving them – as well as working with them to bring his vision into reality. He was already beginning to see that leadership meant empowering his people to be the best they could be – rather than controlling them through their pay packets.

* Olivia Stefanino is a leadership development consultant and executive coach, who works with blue chip organisations, SMEs and individuals. Download your free e-booklet Ò128 ways to harness your personal powerÓ at


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