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Iris Group Coaching - Sue Tsigaros

Is this where you thought you would end up?

It depends where you are asking from. When I was still at school, or even after I graduated from University and went into my first job as a Psychology Tutor, the role of Leadership Coach, Executive Coach, and Business Coach did not even exist!

When I went into my first Corporate job as a sales representative I had no idea that this was the beginning of a 20-year career that me so much.

Only when I was almost at the end of my Corporate days, when I was working with my own Executive Coach I realised that this is what I wanted to do. That was in 1999 and I began studying again in 2002 for my Postgraduate qualifications in Coaching Psychology.

But even then, the marketplace and the way business is done and the degree to which we integrate our personal development with our professional roles - have all changed.

I never thought I’d be speaking on a stage, being a Board Member leading a business community, travelling the world, helping hundreds of clients and transforming lives, showing videos of myself on social media, and becoming a published author.

But if I look BACK it all makes perfect sense. Every step of the way has been fertile ground from which the next evolution has grown.

What do you consider your biggest weakness?

Apart from Baklava and dark chocolate? Probably having high standards to the point where my perfectionism can create unnecessary procrastination and the burden of taking on too much.

As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?

Not having a wife to take care of the part-time unpaid domestic tasks that I either have to do or be responsible for, which in Corporate days would mean that I had less energy and time to 'play the game' with the boys! And also not valuing my own worth sufficiently to ask for a raise or promotion when I could have.

Who inspired you and why?

Excellent Managers who really cared, who behaved well and truly modelled the values that they said were important. Teachers and mentors along the way.

How do you balance work and life responsibilities?

Most important is to have a plan for the big important things, including health, relationships, financial wellbeing, and other personal and business goals. This allows me to prioritise and then choose what to say “yes” to and what to defer, delegate or drop.

I am not always able to do this and when I lapse the minutia take over which leads to stress and resentment, creating a vicious cycle. I often invest in a coach for myself as well as a team of health professionals. I think we all need regular coaching and support!

What have you sacrificed (both personally and professionally)?

It has taken many years of sacrificing health or opportunity to get this balance right and is always a work in progress!

What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?

Think about my first answer. You cannot imagine all that the future will hold! The most important thing is to allow yourself to explore and dive into areas that interest you. When you find something that brings a great balance of challenge and enjoyment, go into it and gather some experience and expertise. These are your building blocks. Also get into the practice of visioning, setting goals, and aligning your energy with what you truly want. Be willing to try, fail learn and grow.

If you had to start over from scratch, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?

When in Corporate I would have listened to my Financial Adviser and made some more investments while I had the cash flow. I would also have taken annual leave in one chunk every few years, and gone on a decent overseas holiday.

As a business owner I would have tackled my fears more boldly: networked sooner and hired a coach earlier.

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