Today we're shining a spotlight on one of the wonderful mentors of The Coaching Academy: Zsuzsanna Recsey, a successful business leader, personal performance coach and author. We hope you enjoy her inspiring story!

Zsuzsanna became a qualified personal-performance coach five years ago and in 2016 she chose to join the fantastic TCA Mentoring team. She is one of the few coaches who have volunteered 100 hours of their time to support our students with their studies and growth.
Zsuzsanna is not only a successful coach but she recently took on a new leadership role achieving her ultimate goal of working with people to make a difference. 

I began my career in the financial sector, specifically in an emerging market. My career path was a steep one, rising high on the ladder very quickly and being exposed to different markets, countries, businesses and cultures.

Whilst it was thrilling to enjoy the impact, the responsibility and the success, I always felt an outlier, sat in management and board meetings, recognising that my approach to leadership was different to most of my colleagues, and largely being the only female and typically younger than my colleagues.

Along with my colleagues, I was working long hours, buried into building the business day to day and not allowing myself any time to step back.

The first opportunity to breathe came naturally when I started maternity leave.

I was able to look at my situation from the outside and gathered feedback which started me on a never-ending path of self-discovery.

This journey quickly led me to an understanding of my approach - I’m people-centric. I believe in the power of collaboration and I am passionate about empowering people to be the best they can be.

One of my team commented on my powerful leadership style and used the word ‘coaching’. It became clear to me what had made me successful during those long corporate career years - creating a truly people-focused culture based on listening, collaboration and respect.

I loved the idea of coaching but I was still not sure whether it was for me until a sleepless moment at 3 am when I saw the two-day free weekend course advertised by the Academy. Consequently, I attended the next event. Coaching found me!

Once my maternity leave was over, I decided to build my coaching business, only going back to work at the bank part-time with fewer responsibilities. 

There is one thing I always knew - I like working in a team so full-time one-to-one coaching was not my ultimate goal. 

During the preceding years, it was fantastic to have the two jobs running parallel, coaching very interesting leaders and establishing my business while implementing and practising coaching skills more consciously at the bank.

I settled the goal of finding a purpose lead, people-centred environment, where I can combine my nearly 20 years of business and leadership experience with coaching. 

I have since extended my offering and specialised in supporting SME business leaders and their teams through coaching and consulting.

Then the time came. I am very proud that after having worked with one very special, true purpose and culture lead company and its leaders, its founder asked me to take it over and run his business full time.

So after 20 years of banking and five years of building a successful coaching business, I decided to leave the corporate world and I recently joined Standing on Giants achieving my ultimate goal of working with people to make a difference.

You never stop learning, however, and working for this company allows me to keep some key strategic coaching clients so I keep growing my skills which I can use for the benefit of the business.

Without coaching, I would not be the leader I am today. What is your coaching niche and why did you choose it?

I work as a career and business coach. It is a natural territory with my business background.  

How did you start volunteering as a Mentor for The Coaching Academy and why did you want to take on this challenge?

I was in the first cohort when the Academy launched it as a new initiative. I am passionate about helping people in general and keen on passing on my knowledge and experience.
At the time I was graduating it was not part of the programme but I took up mentoring myself early into the process (also to meet the ICF ACC requirements) and realised its tremendous value. 

100 hours of volunteer mentoring is a fantastic achievement! What was the most rewarding part of it?

It was nice to build a relationship with some of the students who kept coming back for mentoring and seeing them through to graduation and some of them even beyond. 

What was one thing mentorship changed in your own life that you didn’t expect?

I created long-lasting relationships both personally and professionally with some of the recurring students. 

Tell us about a mentee that challenged your perceptions about what it means to be a successful coach.

As I only meet the majority of mentees only once, I typically do not see the result. However, it was fascinating to see the improving skills and even more importantly the confidence of my returning students.
I also enjoy student’s light bulb moments - typically when I connect some dots they have not seen before. 

If you could go back in time to the person you were before attending the free two-day foundation event, what would you tell them?

Believe in your self and follow your intuition. 

Is there one tip or life lesson you could share with all aspiring coaches out there that would help them succeed as a coach?

If I can give one advice it is to discover before you jump. Allow yourself to understand who you really are as a coach and - unless you are crystal clear about your goals and have specific plans - don’t jump. Learn, explore, adjust your plans and move when you are ready.

If you're interested in finding out more about coaching, just like Zsuzsanna did at the beginning of her career, start by joining us in our interactive live online training - Introduction to Life Coaching. Choose from available dates here.

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