Georgina Noakes established Brightside in 1997 and has since become an acknowledged leader in her field of work as a performance coach and facilitator with exceptional leaders and their teams. Her diverse portfolio of clients include leaders from the corporate, public, social, charity and faith sectors.
My role is to walk alongside a leader and their team for a specific period of time – to accompany them on their journey, which can often be a challenging one, especially during times of transition or change. Sometimes, if we are lucky, we get out into the landscape and walk together too.
I was one of the first executive coaches in the UK to obtain with merit an MSc in Coaching and Development (University of Portsmouth) in 2005. The MSc gave me the opportunity to put an academic frame around 20 years commercial experience and a decade of coaching practice. It also led me into systemic thinking and practices through the supervision of David Campbell, MA, PhD, Principal Clinical Psychologist at the Tavistock Clinic in London, from where he pioneered and championed family therapy for 37 years. I was privileged to be supervised by David for 7 years until his untimely death from cancer in 2009. I am now supervised by Professor Bill Critchley.
Prior to my MSc, I undertook training with Insoo Kim Berg (Solution Focused Coaching & Appreciative Inquiry), Julio Ollala (Newfield Network), Sir John Whitmore (GROW model) and Tim Gallwey (The Inner Game of Work). Before, during and after my MSc the work of David Whyte, poet and author, has inspired and shaped my thinking and coaching practice.
“The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.”
I was born and bred in the Yorkshire Dales and went to school in the Lake District, which gave me a love of dry stone walls and the open spaces between. At Froebel Institute in London, I took a degree in contemporary dance and drama. This was to sow in me the seeds of creativity and a collaborative approach with people that I still value in my work today.
After leaving university in 1982, I spent 7 years in South Africa helping to set up non-racial educational arts projects with an emphasis on developing leaders for the post-apartheid era. The focus on leadership through dialogue – being part of the solution rather than part of the problem – that I learned during this time informs my practice today as a coach.
When I returned to the UK in 1989, I joined the legal sector as one of its first marketing professionals. This led me to become Director of Marketing at global firm, Ince & Co, in the City of London from 1992 to 1996. I was a member of both the Emergency Response and the Leadership Team at the firm and was active in developing Ince’s practice in Europe and the Far East.
I left Ince & Co in 1996 to set up Brightside.
In Georgina’s own words
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