Case Studies – Coralie Cross (LPCF )

Coralie Cross, Chair of LPCF shares her experience of being a Band of Bosses® member

What was your reason for deciding Band of Bosses® (BOB) was right for you?

After the workshops that Hil delivered for the LPCF, I realised that I could do with a boost injection, with regards to building my confidence in running the organisation. Some of the strategies Hil had used with us in the workshops got me thinking. I thought, becoming a BOB would be a good idea, having previously been reticent to ‘put myself out there’.

From the workshops Hil had delivered, I knew I could trust Hil. That meant that I’d open myself up much more and risk being put on the spot. I knew, from the way Hil ran the workshops and interacted with everyone, that I’d be able to get a great deal from the BOB group.

“Band of Bosses made me think deeply about the core purpose of the organisation”

What’s a specific example of how being a BOB helped you in your role?

Being a BOB really opened my thinking about the core values of the organisation. In one of the first meetings I took part in, we looked at our beliefs and whether they are actually in our business vision. And whether our values actually fitted in with the organisation’s values and what we do. It really made me think, and question whether they were aligned or not. It’s the being made to think deeper really, which is interesting and helpful.

Another example… is I’ve always struggled with the amount of time I have verses the amount of things I’m trying to do. Hil has guided me to think about what I’m doing, how I’m doing it, why I’m doing it and whether it’s useful or not.

As a result, I’ve got rid of some of the stuff that was eating into my time, that really wasn’t that productive. Instead, I’ve been encouraged to think about and act on the stuff that I’m better putting my energy into really.

Being a BOB has given me an opportunity to sort of realign my thinking and my doing, so that everything’s more productive.
I’ve created more structure and the procrastination I have suffered from, has reduced. I make sure that I allocate the time, so the structure helps the being productive.

What has been a personal gain from being a member of Band of Bosses®?

I have gained much more self-confidence. I’m not so hard on myself and put myself down far less. I can use a lot of negative language and I’ve managed to identify that now, and do something about it. So, Hil’s made me think, “Oh, you’re using that language again, Coralie.”

I don’t mind having a bit of fun with people, and I’ll put myself down to make others feel at ease. But, it’s the bit where I’m actually believing it, that was getting to me. I was actually believing what I was saying in jest, was actually true. Hil has enabled me to see that and work on it.

“Hil inspires me to think differently and has given me more insight into the decisions I make.”

What do you gain from being with other Band of Bosses® members?

Getting the input from the other businesses. Even though we’ve got such vast, different businesses or organisations, we’re still having the same problems. And that’s comforting.

And you listen and you get ideas from them really, which is good. You give ideas too. Because you’re outside their business, you can sometimes see something they can’t or you have a question that they wouldn’t have thought of.

I also like the books we read and discuss together. It’s good to broaden your knowledge and it’s even better when you’re sharing your thoughts with others.

What’s like working with Hil?

It’s fun, I have to say. I get a lot of enjoyment out of it. Hil relaxes people, because you feel as though you can’t say anything wrong. I’m a bit frightened sometimes to say things to some people, because you don’t know how they’re going to take it. There’s no worry with Hil. She sees the funny side, won’t ever be offended and questions and rephrases to get to the root of things.

Hil is very creative. I do like the fact that she always brings in things creative and interesting things to the group. Hil inspires me to think differently and has given me more insight into the decisions I make.

In what ways does Hil challenge you?

Hil challenges me with searching questions. She makes me think deeply ~ that’s challenging! Oh, I have struggled with that. Hil gets me to actually take time to think, “Why am I doing this?” and think deeper.

Hil has also challenged me around the public speaking I need to do. She has said, “There’s no reason why you shouldn’t do this, Cori.” I know it wasn’t comfortable and I dreaded it. But having Hil talk me through it, see me do it, clearly feedback to me and discuss my next steps, I am getting much better.

“Both yourself and your organisation is going to benefit hugely, from working with Hil and the other BOB members. You won’t regret it.”

How does being a Band of Bosses® member benefit your organisation?

The Charity is exploring all aspects of improving the organisation by using a professional, impartial coach who uses her expertise to provide support and strategies to the Chair; that’s me.

As a result of being a Band of Bosses® member, the organisation has done some in depth work around why are we doing things, our engagement, our end-users’ engagement and why they should engage. Band of Bosses® has given me ideas and strategies to explore with the team. So, what Band of Bosses® has conveyed to me, I then convey to the team. The team approach is so important for us and through me, Band of Bosses® supports the team.

A recent example has been a Band of Bosses® group meeting about our core values. I then brought the work we’d done in that meeting, to the team and asked, “Well, is that what we really stand for? Is that what we’re going to talk about to others?” And we went from there. We were getting more to the core of the charity and what we believe it’s really about, which we need to do, I think. We’re sticking more our core purpose and objectives now, and we’re doing it better because of that.

The volunteers would say, it’s a better organisation because it’s more structured and  we really know what we’re doing.

So, Band of Bosses® has helped me and the team home into what we’re really about, which is brilliant.

What would you say to somebody else who was thinking about becoming a Band of Bosses® member?

It’s pretty simple really. Just do it. Both yourself and your organisation is going to benefit hugely, from working with Hil and the other BOB members. You won’t regret it.