Have role models shaped your career?

Sometimes we might not even realise at the time – it is only in looking back can we see the influence that has shaped our lives.

I have had 3 famous role models in my life.

I can’t really explain why – it was just something that drew me in at different points of my life.

  1. Bob Geldof
  2. Pirmin Zurbriggen
  3. David Beckham

The list seems a very unlikely bunch of disconnected people to have as role models – but each shaped my life at the time. It is only now, many years later, that I can see the connections of the individual jigsaw pieces.

Bob Geldolf – musician, something of a rebel, someone who wasn’t prepared to accept ‘the rules’. He was watching the news and saw the feminine in Ethiopia. Unlike the many others who saw the same, he decided he would take action – Band Aid was formed, that later went on to become a Live Aid concert – we take it for granted now that concerts raise money for causes, but at the time, this was unprecedented. This man stepped outside the box to challenge what he deemed unacceptable and achieved something beyond extraordinary – he changed history.

Pirmin Zurbriggen – ski racer, quiet mountain man, someone who was shy and unassuming but had an inner strength of steel. He became one of the most iconic and successful ski racers in history. He pushed himself to the limits with extraordinary faith in himself and God to achieve a long list of world championship wins and the Olympic gold medal in Calgary 1988. He told me in 2021 about his mindset the night before that race: he read his Bible that night and felt calm, unlike the nerves of other racers, he had ‘nothing to lose’ so just went for it – pushing the very edge of his limits.

David Beckham – footballer and now global icon, started life as a shy boy with a singular passion – football. He worked hard and never took his skills for granted, he grafted and made sacrifices to achieve being signed by a premier club. Things did not always go his way – he became subjected to ‘national hate’ after being sent off in 1998 world cup. It broke him but didn’t beat him. His strength of mindset and character, along with close family and friends supporting, he later became captain of England and one of the most celebrated footballers in history.

Each of my role models pushed the boundaries, each have extraordinary achievements due to their mindset and ability to work hard on achieving their dreams. All faced barriers – none gave up, even when it would have been easier to accept defeat.

It is the strength of character and mindset that drew me in.

Each shaped my own belief that anything is possible to achieve if you set your mind to it… and that is how I have lived my life ever since.

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I first worked with Will whilst I was a junior member of a teaching team. I worked closely with him for around three years and he became a true mentor to me. During this time Will helped encourage me to discover my own leadership style and he mapped out what it takes to be successful. I highly recommend Will for life and career coaching.

Will is a professional, natural leader who manages to make you feel at ease. He manages to be both emphatic and encouraging, whilst also managing to challenge you to find your own answers. Will’s approach is totally non-judgmental and the sessions are really focused on you and on what you want to achieve. Working with Will has allowed me to address challenges I was facing and he brought a wealth of resources and practical tools to help me set goals, clarify my values, and explore avenues right away. Even though I left teaching 5 years ago, I still seek out Will for his help and guidance and I appreciate his versatility as a thought partner, ally, and coach. Our sessions are always productive and efficiently run, which is perfect for someone who is juggling many priorities! Will brings great communication, professionalism and quality to his work and I highly recommend him as a life/business coach.
- Jamie T (Leadership Coaching)

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Will at Mapleleaf vision fitted me in for a last minute decision-making session that I needed to make ASAP re. a job offer / career change. He was friendly, professional, and really knew his stuff! He unpicked things that I could never have done on my own. I’m so grateful to him & will be highly recommending him to everyone! Where there is a ‘Will’, there’s a way! Thank you, Will. You truly have a gift.
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