News & Insights
A Created Life
25th May 2022
Executive coach, Steve Nicol, reached a point in his corporate career where he questioned what would make his life better.
Drawing inspiration from people who were leading great lives Steve realised that they were following their own path, creating their own future. He set out to do the same.
This conversation with Jude Thorpe reveals why Steve decided to become a coach and the professional and personal decisions which led him there.
Jude: Steve, I would love to hear from you, in your own words, about why you decided to become a coach.
Steve: I think that the short version for me is understanding that within my career as such, coming through agriculture into oil and gas was quite an experience in itself. And building a business that was ready to be sold or building a business shaped up to be sold again led to an awful lot of strong conversations. How do you do that? And there's loads of advice out there, and a lot of it is not very good.
We went from 80 people into a world of 85,000 people. And that did blow my mind.
You've got to make your own path, in your own way to get to that endpoint. And I think being pretty successful at having good conversations within a business that's full of owner inventors and great ideas, moving that into a corporate environment, we were successful in doing that. But we went from 80 people into a world of 85,000 people. And that did blow my mind.
I kept asking questions that sometimes were categorised as being annoying.
It really did. It's like, wow, how do you even operate on that scale if you're going to buy staples? How many staples do you need for that size of business? I think my curiosity, what would you say, made it great fun to be in that size of business. I kept asking questions that sometimes were categorised as being annoying.
No one's asked that before, Steve. So why do you need to know that? Well, I think I can help, because I like to maximise things. I think during that journey, I landed up at the end of my corporate story looking for technologies to buy into that big machine and then integrate the teams into the business, into the wider business. And sometimes that was not easy for people because it often was the 80-person business into the big machine.
I could operate in my integrity and get the job done in a way that made me feel good.
And one of the things I brought that seemed to make it successful for me was to tell the truth to people. Here's kind of the corporate line, here's what's going to happen, but I can help you with that. And I guess that's where I recognised something, that I could operate in a truth zone. Even though I was still living in a corporate message, I could operate in my integrity and get the job done in a way that made me feel good. And then it came to five years of doing that.
What would make my life even better?
That was enough. So what do I do next? What would make my life even better? What do I actually want to do?
And that took a while. That took me a while to work out. But then I started looking around at other people leading good lives or great lives or what they were doing, and mostly they were following their own path. They weren't just falling into the next thing to do.
I chose the created life……. coaching was one opportunity for me to bring that into focus.
They were actually creating a future. And I started reading a little bit into how do people do that? And there's this great graphic that shows you a default future for people and a created life. And I chose the created life. I said, what would that look like and how can I do that?
I think it's a journey that's got a long way to go.
And coaching was one opportunity for me to bring that into focus and I took that step. I had no idea how it would work for me. Might not have enough brainpower, might not be able to keep my stories short. There are lots of things in there saying this may be difficult for you, Steve. You know, I'm going to give it a go and see how it works and I've never regretted that to me just like day one of handing back my corporate computer and stuff. There was that moment that you sort of have and then I started to step into some conversations and thought, yes, it's working okay. This is working okay and it continues to get better. I think it's a journey that's got a long way to go Jude.