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Case Study: Taking Time Out

Sarah joined her first Academy group in the spring of this year, but believes that the investment in her membership is already paying dividends.

Taking Time Out“In an owner-managed business it’s all too easy to get into working in the business rather than on the business and this can be especially true in challenging economic times. My previous US employer described it as `when up to your backside with alligators you don’t think of draining the swamp!’

Sarah believes that for many business leaders the stresses and day-to-day preoccupations with customer delivery and client service can be draining at many levels.

“Joining the Academy has been a huge catalyst for our business. I’m sure that it’s no co-incidence that we are now very busy with new business and expanding our offering.

One of her colleagues has been in another Academy group for some time and Sarah believes that having the two of them there is a real bonus. “It has also changed the way that we work together. The relationship has become more of a creative collaboration and the interaction between the two of us is far more stimulating than it used to be.

“One thing I know for sure is that each month I’ll come away with something of value. It might be insight from one of the speakers or a sharing from another Group member. It’s a bit like connecting the dots. Whilst it may not be immediately obvious how it all interconnects, when that moment of inspiration comes it all slots into place.

“The discipline of the one-on-one coaching sessions is something that I really look forward to as well. In the world of consultancy we are all very good at going out and writing prescriptions for others, but less good at taking time out to do our own health checks.”

Sarah explains that the stress and pressure of a growing business can also narrow one’s lens of perspective and that there may even be blind spots or issues lurking in the subconscious and unconscious mind, which can prevent one from accessing real clarity of vision.

“Another advantage of getting out of the office once a month is the time and space it gives me to sit back and reflect on the more strategic, longer term perspective. And there is no danger of slipping into Group Think when you are surrounded by business leaders from such a wide range of backgrounds and sectors.

“How would I describe a day at the Academy? It’s a bit like taking your brain to a spa for the day. You leave feeling really invigorated. Yes – challenged too, but in a fun and refreshing way. “

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