Hi there, I’m Stephen; husband, engineer, manager and professional coach.
I work with talented and highly skilled subject matter experts to discover and unlock their leadership potential so they can become truly inspirational thought-leaders that others will want to follow. Amongst other things, I help them to develop confidence, self-awareness and self-belief which will complement their deep technical skills.
As a professional coach with an engineering background, I am a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF) and bound by the ICF Code of Ethics and I'm also a certified mBIT coach. I continue to develop my coaching skills though continued professional development and coaching supervision. I’m also covered by professional indemnity insurance.
Whilst as a coach I'll never tell you what you should do, I thought it might be useful to tell you a bit more about myself. So here is my potted history covering everything from my love of technology, yoga, running, losing 140lbs, holding a number of senior positions in various companies and of course, becoming a coach! Like the majority of people, I’ve had dreams, aspirations and faced numerous challenges along the way in this journey of life that we’re all travelling.
I’m originally from a little seaside town called Portrush on the north coast of Northern Ireland – just around the corner from the Giant’s Causeway. In 2003 I moved to Dublin where I now life with my wife Sinéad and yellow Labrador Clara but still cherish those occasional trips back home to visit friends and family.
Growing up I was curious about computers and electronics. I loved taking things apart and trying to figure out how they worked – a skill and curiosity I inherited from my Dad. I dabbled with building my own electronic devices and by the time I was a young teenager I was heavily involved in various theatre groups: building scenery, designing and operating sound systems, rigging lighting systems, stage manager, producer and on occasions I was even known to tread the boards on rare occasions! There’s a certain magic when you’re responsible for creating the magic of live theatre and having to react to any number of things that could go wrong. Talk about responsibility and pressure. This love of theatre eventually lead me to meet my wife and soul mate Sinéad. Somewhere along the way I learned to play the saxophone and joined a swing band called the Harbour Lights. From memory the band only lasted for about a year – but what a year!
At the same time, I was starting out in my professional engineering career. Having graduated with an honours degree in electronics from UUJ (University of Ulster at Jordanstown) in 1995. I started working for a small company in Belfast before joining the global telecoms company Nortel. Here I discovered the joys of working on new product development whilst working as part of a great team – not to mention playing hockey, squash and rock climbing – we were definitely a social group at work. Whilst I loved my time at Nortel it eventually came to an end in 2002 when, after about eight consecutive quarters of layoffs, I was made redundant; not a pleasant experience. But as a result I moved to Dublin and thanks to my love of musical theatre and playing squash, I got involved in various groups around Dublin. This was definitely a great way to get to know people. It was here where I met my wife. I was the stage manager; she was the choreographer; and the show was Guys & Dolls. The rest is history.
In Dublin I started working for another multinational technology company which served a very different industry sector. Although the work was interesting, I learned valuable lessons on how not to manage people (I wasn’t the manager) and all about conflicts that can cause havoc within a team. It all worked out ok in the end and after three years I eventually moved to an indigenous Irish multinational company called S3 Group.
It was here that I made the transition from engineer to leader, working my way up to become Head of Engineering. This involved lots of long hours and time away from home working with clients in the UK and USA. Up to this point I’d been more focused on technology rather than people or business. No one prepared me for being a leader so I had to figure a lot of things out for myself. Following the passing of my father in 2010, I also realised that I needed to look after myself better. This started me on a personal journey in 2011 that would see me lose 140lbs. I’ve now ran the Dublin Marathon three times and completed a 40 mile ultra-marathon. I went from someone who’d struggle to run a mile to running a marathon with a personal best of 3 hours and 23 minutes. I also discovered the joys and importance of balance by slowing things down with yoga and mindfulness.
In 2012, I went back to college and did a part time Post Graduate Diploma and Masters degree in Technology and Innovation management at the Dublin Institute of Technology. Things got very interesting in 2015 as our business unit was acquired by Accenture. Working through the due diligence process of an acquisition and then helping to integrate our teams into Accenture was certainly a great experience.
It was at Accenture that I first got interested in coaching; driven partly by meeting other coaches and partly by a coaching culture that exists in various parts of the company. I was hungry to learn more and undertook a certificate in professional coaching with Coaching Development Ltd and have now joined the International Coach Federation (ICF). This was by far the most rewarding training I have undertaken and it has taught me so much – not just about coaching but also about myself.
Anyway, that’s me…what you see is pretty much what you get. As a coach I’m not here to give advice or tell you what to do. I’m here to facilitate you finding the solution that is right for you. After all, you are the expert on you. But thanks to my own journey and its challenges, struggles, dreams and achievements, I can relate to many of the outcomes you may want to achieve through coaching.