Coaching Leaders

“I joined Tuddenham Mill in 2007 as a commis chef with a keen desire to learn as I’ve always had the hunger to lead from the front in anything I do.

Over the last 10 years I have had the pleasure of learning with Fairstead on different development courses. These learning experiences have aided my thoughts and other leaders in the business. I found the learnings easily transferable when I became Head Chef and used my new skills to develop colleagues’ personal approach and attitude towards the business and their colleagues.

When I took the role as Chef Patron at Tuddenham Mill with full responsibility for running the business I was able to test and trial different ways of leadership while striving to improve the business performance through hard work operationally and leading by example ‘on the ground’. The team at the Mill have always been very good at ‘doing the do’ and we needed to start looking at our practises as a team and what was in our own control, whilst striving for improved financial performance and quality guest experience at the Mill.

As my role developed into leading three hotels in our East Anglian portfolio it was evident to me and the hotel Board that I would have a better opportunity to flourish and strengthen in our businesses with sponsored coaching. I needed to adapt, I couldn’t work the way my body and mind was used to as it wasn’t as effective anymore. I needed new challenge, new learnings and a new way!

Fairstead enabled me to challenge my thinking and supported my personal change while I introduced change in the businesses. With the support of Fairstead I had my ‘moment of realisation’. I had to adapt my approach, to grow myself and lead better businesses.

Learning to ‘slow down’ has been a ‘bullseye’ moment for me on how I lead my teams. I promote this every day before making decisions. Diane was ever patient, understanding and articulated a no fuss approach which enabled me to be very aware of business operations and the benefit of working with, and through people, to drive performance and growth.

The skills and learnings have enabled me to focus not only on my professional week but also personally at home enabling my thoughts and thinking to be ‘present’. It has 100% enabled me to discipline time and where I choose to focus my energies. My coaching has allowed me to ‘review’ my direction of travel whilst allowing me to strengthen my leadership teams.

If I had to sum up my coaching experience with Fairstead in 3 words I would say it was:

  • Stimulating
  • Insightful
  • Personally rewarding”

Lee Bye – Chef Patron, Agellus Hotels Ltd