Love is... important for inspired Jenny

Jenny Garrett
Jenny Garrett

Leadership and coaching consultant Jenny Garrett, 41, pictured, from Hemel Hempstead, will be launching her book, Rocking Your Role, at Waterstones in town on Saturday, June 30. Here we find out what makes her tick.

What are your business qualifications?

PG Cert in Executive Coaching, BA (Hons) Business, MA in Management Learning & Leadership

Do you think business leadership can be taught or is it something that comes from a natural instinct?

I think we can all develop and evolve as leaders if we want to. I continually grow and develop and love the work of Peter Senge, who describes the journey of learning as the reward as we never reach the place where we know all we can. I continually push myself to take on new challenges and every time I do I learn something about myself. Leadership is about stretching yourself, recognising you can never know it all, for me it’s a journey of self-awareness. It is also situational; the best leader may be very different for different times and situations. So rather than being taught, you can learn and develop your leadership skills, but you must want them in the first place.

What is the name of your main business and what does it do?

My business is Reflexion Associates Ltd, we are a leadership and coaching consultancy. We provide one to one and team development for managers and leaders in all sectors. We do this with depth, personalisation and meaning.

Our aim is to challenge leaders to make a positive difference, and to motivate women to live their best live and Inspire authentic leadership

What was the turnover of your main business in the last reporting period?

Healthy, considering the current climate of austerity

Where would you like the business to be in 10 years time?

To have representatives all over the world, providing development that makes a positive difference in the lives of leaders and managers. To be almost at the point of not being needed due the positive impact we have made.

What positives can you extract from current economic conditions?

Tough times focus the mind and have encouraged us to evaluate the success of the work we do more rigorously, this has resulted in highlighting and clarifying what we do well. We have also become less complacent and embraced social media as a cost-effective way of promoting what we do successfully.

What motivates you to get up in the morning and go to work?

Connection – knowing that I can make a difference in others lives positively.

What is the most important thing in life and why?

It’s all about love – loving others and myself equally

At what age do you aim to retire and what will you do after that point?

I don’t think I’ll retire, I hate to admit it, but I am always looking for the next challenge. People always say: If you won the lottery what would you do? My response is that there is nothing I’d change. I love my work, but perhaps I wouldn’t need to charge for it. Oh, and I would like to have my own art gallery, that’s always been a dream of mine.

Partner’s name:

Rob Garrett, he runs a company called Education2day which gives disaffected young people much needed enterprise skills.

What is the most important thing you learned at school?

That the more effort you put into something the more you get out of it, and if you don’t put in the effort don’t expect things to land in your lap.

What extra subject should be placed on the curriculum?

Financial awareness and the importance of community, I know that’s two, but I hope you’ll let me off : )

Have you ever had to sack someone on the spot and why?

No, I haven’t. I’ve wanted to, though. I find it challenging to work with people who don’t listen and don’t acknowledge their mistakes.

What percentage of your success is inspiration?

I come up with ideas and inspiration while I sleep, I wake up in the morning full of inspiration every day. I think that my mind never stops working on ideas, sometimes they are simmering away in my unconscious and pop up in the morning. I am always looking for new ideas and they come through conversations with others, the internet and articles I stumble upon.

What percentage of your success is perspiration?

I’d say it’s more about perspiration and perseverance than inspiration. Success is a marathon, not a sprint, you just have to keep going and keep plugging away, until you become an overnight success!

Who is your inspiration in business and why?

I am not one to model myself on others, I love being unique and different. Charting my own path, even if I make mistakes, is more important to me.

What time do you get up on a working day?

4am, 5am, 6am – it depends what time my inspiration wakes me.

How do you switch off and relax?

I find I have to schedule in regular holidays to switch off. I am disciplined about not taking work calls in the evening and at weekends, but I often check my emails – curse my Blackberry.

How do you measure business success?

Success for me is about longevity rather than making a quick buck. If I am still around making a profit, transforming lives and happy doing it in 10 years time, then that is success for me.

What is your favourite piece of business jargon and why?

I hope I don’t use business jargon, I am pretty plain speaking, I know I say ‘get back to me by the close of play’ quite a bit.

What is the most pointless piece of red tape you’ve had to deal with?

Gosh, there is so much red tape and it usually occurs when clients have to pay my invoices. Jumping through hoops to become a supplier can be a real investment of time which takes a while to recoup.

Where does your confidence come from?

I was going to say ‘am I confident, or just naive?’ but I recognised that if that was one of my clients, I’d ask them why they are playing down their strengths. So I think the truth is that I am confident for me and for everyone, if you put yourself out there good things will happen.

How do you ensure that people don’t go to sleep in meetings?

As a coach I don’t spend too long talking, involvement and participation are part of my make -up. I also have regular breaks and treats.