Helping others re-emerge stronger and realise better outcomes.
My name is Brad Allen
I am an accredited coach, skilled facilitator and author, specialising in workplace performance, career development and work-life balance.
Disaster creates the opportunity for change.
At times our own stories create the best case study.
It has been very tough getting back to adequate income levels after putting my corporate career on hold to focus on family. It has been a complete nightmare, but at the same time, an awesome environment for learning and self-discovery. However, none of that could have prepared me for the ramifications of Covid-19. It has been like being hit in the back of the head with a rubber mallet – It hurts bad, and whilst it doesn’t kill you, well not initially, and may knock you out briefly, it does leave you dazed and confused.
The start of the decade was shaping up to be something special. I was at near capacity again and finally turning the finances from red to black. January numbers were looking great. My freelance partners were lining up workshop bookings well into late Spring. The corporate world was switched on again. Leadership teams in all quarters were keen to get together for strategy and planning sessions of 2-3 days in all corners of the globe. Then it all changed. First, multinational clients restricted international flights. Then came the local workshop cancellations. By mid-February, everyone was scrambling. (read ...)
Being real as a man
“It took courage and your helping hand to see that I had been giving too much of myself to my loved ones”. This statement is like what I see as a coach and mentor, time after time. It is more commonplace than you would hope, in many hard working and committed men. They put everything in and yet, things fall apart. They see that they are making choices, but those choices cause them grief. They talk about putting up with repeatedly being put down and made feel weak. They justify it with statements like, “the grief I get is from the stress of them helping to build ‘our’ financial security”. I hear stories of regret when men feel they have been left out of all kinds of decisions that impact themselves and those they care about, like family size, schooling, community, finances, career, friendships and well-being. I hear stories of men accepting circumstances which diminished their employment prospects, in order to increase quality of life and the employment prospects of their loved ones. Men tell me about letting their personal friendships drift so they can focus on ‘shared‘ friendships or friends of their loved ones. Men tell me they haven’t looked to invest in re-education and future employability, because their time was needed for home duties. I hear of men who find little support in the form of family or legal support when things turn ugly. They tell me that Love blinded them to the truth.
Through my coaching programs, I have helped men explore their strengths, values, what is important and what they can do about the complexity before them. This process helps them honor their commitments to others, without completely martyring their own livelihood, as well as their physical and mental well-being.
Solving problems, facing down challenges and strategy building and execution.
Brad Allen is a man with perspective. After about 20 years in the corporate world, he’s now a one-on-one coach, a workshop facilitator, and a father of five. That means he’s seen it all: what goes on in a group setting, more personal moments behind the scenes, and everything in between. Also, somewhere along the way, he made time to author a book—Fried Chicken is Awesome: Finding YOUR Way in a World Gone Mad. So needless to say that Brad is one dedicated, driven guy—an enthusiasm he brings into the workshop as well as the coaching space.
Brad grew up in Australia and finished his undergrad at Perth. His background is in computer science—facilitated by a flair for technology. After starting his professional life working in Australia’s mining, Brad headed north of the equator, to Ireland, where he completed his master’s degree in Dublin. With a degree and professional experience under his belt, Brad did project consulting for about five years. By then, he felt he was starting to hit the ceiling in professional development; it began to feel like moving from role to role in the food chain. In 2014, the timing was right to go back on his own to be a full-time one-on-one performance coach. It seemed the right way to leverage his personal and professional skills to help others and learn along the way.
Enter Starfish Taylor. Brad found them. After leaving the corporate world and going from leadership coaching and one-on-one mentoring, Brad was enthused by the work Starfish Taylor was doing: he was struck by the impact offered by working with larger groups, especially the potential for doing more good with the same amount of time. His first project with Starfish Taylor was in June 2016, at a strategy-building workshop in London, where he got to learn the ropes.
A better customer experience for 100 million people
"We know why we do what we do, but continually improving how we get there takes focus, commitment and at times, a helping hand. When we asked Brad how we could do things better, we got some enlightening feedback. Together we found that focusing only on ‘value added’ actions delivered better results for our clients, and ultimately a better customer experience for the 100million people who use our buildings every year. Every single person at S&P built greater confidence in knowing their focus and attention was where it needed to be, resulting consequentially in a better work/life balance. Working with Brad has enabled good stuff to happen and for us to see why improving our focus has had a positive impact in many aspects of our professional life. I personally used our learning to help shape better outcomes across my home life as well as those commercially driven outcomes related to running the company. Brad’s thinking truly changed our behaviours, the impact was contagious and a key factor in the continuing success of the team, the business and the outcomes we all desire."
Maintaining the balance
It isn't hard to appreciate the costs to our personal health, wellness and fitness, when we focus only on meeting the needs of our professional commitments. Professionals, including scientists, teachers, accountants, project managers and even a doctor, use my method to help them ensure their professional effectiveness didn’t detract from their engagement with their families. They also wanted to maintain well and healthy lives. Improving their professional effectiveness has helped them bring a new outlook to managing time, has them confidently juggling several commitments, has them thinking with better focus and clarity, has them completing more of the important things, has them more relaxed about future commitments, and gave rise to more harmony with colleagues and loved ones.
Professional success takes effort and focus. At times the conditions we are faced with, cause us to lose confidence in ourselves and the plan. Seeing a missed promotion as an opportunity rather than a setback, is the key first step, however it's not always enough. Through one-to-one coaching and mentoring programs, I have helped my clients assess their strengths and values and use that knowledge to stay productive and further develop resilience. This enables them to leverage opportunities to their maximum and in doing so, continue to thrive and accelerate the momentum of their career.
Entrepreneurs build on their failures to maximise the gains from their successes. Failures have a cost, including emotional, financial and in trust. For this entrepreneur and skilled digital marketeer, building success after a succession of failures wasn't in question in his mind, however his supporters were tiring of the journey. Rebuilding the trust became the focus of this coaching and mentoring program. Over the course of 6 months, I helped my client with several aspects. He built further self-awareness of his strengths. He learnt how he could be more effective. He grew understanding of emotional intelligence, empathy and using feedback to his advantage. We then used all of that to determine how he could work better with his stakeholders. This helped him better share his energy and enthusiasm with those that supported him, enabling him to realise success again.
Thriving through difficult market conditions
When things are going well, it's already challenging to ensure mental and physical well-being in addition to maintaining profitability, cash flow and employee engagement. For this mid-size company Co-Owner and Managing Director, things got even more challenging when market conditions forced the company into a restructuring situation. Staying productive and resilient in the face of significant financial pressure became the aim of this focused coaching and mentoring engagement. Four years later and the business, it's employees and my client are thriving, having built on the intervention to establish professional effectiveness across many aspects of day to day operations.
Excellence in Leadership
Growing the senior leadership team's engagement and resilience skills was the challenge given to me by the Country Managing Director of a global player in the medical devices and healthcare sector. Over the course of two years I worked on a one-to-one basis with new comers to the leadership table. Self-awareness of strengths, emotional intelligence and professional effectiveness were key topics covered during the programs. These activities enhanced their high potential and thus fast tracked their journey into fully productive managers.
Maximising the Investment in High Potential
When you invest in professionals with high potential you want to ensure your investment isn't in vain. This was the desire of a Manager of a group of 14 entrepreneurial high performers. The program that I designed and delivered aim to build awareness of values and signature strengths. This awareness helped them focus their energy and attention where it best served them. They were able to better allocate their time and leverage the resources available to them. This approach reduced the risk that their high potential got lost in the day to day needs of building value.
Motivating Manager Effectiveness
With flattening organisational structures, medium to large organisations face challenges in maintaining the desired level of motivation in the ranks, specifically when promotional opportunities become limited. Having managers maintain their effectiveness and continue to thrive under these difficult situations was a challenge put to me by a multinational technology company. Working with line managers over the course of 3 to 9-month programs, I helped them build self-awareness of their value contribution and how their own behaviour reflected on the performance of their teams. With better awareness they became more empathetic and supportive of those below, next to and above them. The results helped ensure that everyone continued to thrive.
How I do it - Coaching & Mentoring
My coaching & mentoring approach for private clients involves a program of virtual, one-to-one sessions delivered over a fixed period of 13 weeks.
These online video call based programs will typically include the following elements:
- Unlimited 45-minute video calls, typically done weekly.
- Unlimited query, reminder, and encouragement interactions i.e. instant messaging.
Session schedules are flexible and aligned to your needs. The idea is to ensure you experience minimal resistance as you re-emerge stronger and realise better outcomes.
The first 30-minute chemistry session is free. To get started, you simply answer this question: “what one thing, if achieved, would make the world of difference to me, right now”. Just write that and send it over, with your contact details.
The 13-week transformational based program costs €4,999. Paid upfront, plus VAT as applicable.
Your investment in this program is a measure of your perceived value and potential.
I also deliver Laser Coaching to corporate clients, via my partners.
How I do it - Facilitation
Laser Facilitation is a framework for geographically dispersed groups who need to collaborate urgently to share thoughts on a challenge, explore the options, prioritize and produce concise action plans.
The framework is delivered as a program that involves co-design, a set of 60-90-minute online sessions and offline collation and prioritization. An example program could incorporate an online open question & ideation session, offline prioritization and an online next steps planning session.
Laser Facilitation differs from more typical online meeting formats because of the greater focus on transparency, efficiency and agility.
This fully digital method is delivered online and works well with groups of about 12 to 20 people.
Programs start at €3,600. This covers the setup and the 1st session co-design and delivery. Each subsequent session costs €2,160. Customisation and data collation between session starts at €750. Fees are paid upfront, plus VAT as applicable.
Get in contact now to find out more.
In-Person Workshop Facilitation
My diverse background and skills are leveraged in workshop facilitation, where I wear the hats of a co-designer, lead facilitator, process facilitator or knowledge worker.
I am an active participant in the workshop design and delivery process. This process makes optimal use of valuable resources in solving problems, facing down challenges and strategy building and execution.
Facilitation is delivered via my partners.
Who is Brad?
I am an accredited coach and mentor who has been helping others bring about quantifiable results since 2014. On top of that, I have over 20 years of professional experience. I am also an author, a skilled facilitator, and a hands-on father.
Sectors: Technology, Finance, Hospitality, Life Sciences, Education, Local & National Government, Energy, Insurance, Standardisation, Construction, Oil & Gas and Mining.
Client Profile: Corporate professionals of varying ages and levels, from graduates to senior leadership.
- 1000+ professionals facilitated
- 500+ hours in facilitation
- 300+ hours 1-to-1 coaching
- 80+ Clients coached
- 70,000+ words published
- 50+ Marketing videos produced
- 50+ Blog posts
- Adv Dip - Personal and Executive Coaching (Kingstown College, Dublin)
- MBA (Smurfit / University College Dublin)
- BSc (Curtin University, Perth)
- European Individual Accreditation, Practitioner (European Mentoring and Coaching Council)
- Certified for Psychometric Testing (The British Psychological Society)
- Leadership & Performance Coaching
- Facilitation (MG Taylor method)
- Organisational Development
- Learning & Development
- Design Thinking
Working with Brad:
As well as measurable success in coaching I have a rich experience of Corporate life, specifically in driving and managing technology adoption within corporate environments, selling, designing and delivering IT solutions, and facilitating agile-based web software development.
I believe only we can bring ourselves to the place we need to be. No one else can do that for us.
I approach coaching with a straight-forward, no B.S. style. There are no tricks or gimmicks in my approach. I believe experience counts for much more than book learnt theory. I encourage the use of data and facts, in the exploration of attitudes, behaviours, values and beliefs that hold us back from doing the things we want and achieving the life we desire.
Getting to know Brad:
In helping others, I leverage my strengths - creativity, honesty, having perspective and being persistent.
I value respectful connection, openness, personal growth through creativity and fun/humour, wisdom through curiosity/fascination, and self-sufficiency/autonomy.
My proudest accomplishment is facing down the challenges of juggling family life with career, and then making the changes needed to return to productive career advancement, physical and mental fitness, and ongoing learning and development.
I’m most grateful for quality time with my five children, partner, friends and family.
“Excellent, and not what I expected to be looking at when we first got into this”.
“Great to focus on the broader perspective at times”.
“Great” – “New Year, New Me”
“Very good. Always a good time”.
“I am thankful for the time spent with Brad. I felt I could share openly and honestly. I felt great connection and really appreciated the coaching.”
“So useful to talk through, what feels relatively trivial concerns”.
“Good - once more it was an opportunity to explore my thinking; there were some good questions and I appreciated ending with a practical approach”.
“Good to reflect and see where the session leads.”
“Good to review the report feedback and receive pertinent questions to reflect on”.
“Useful to simply explain my thinking.”
“Very useful - to reflect and take stock”
“Since commencing coaching, I have found I am sharing more openly and am willing to listen more. I have greater appreciation of the need to take on difficult decisions and ask the hard questions.”
“Great session - more tools for my kit bag”.
“I am amazed that Brad can take my verbal vomit and turn it into something meaningful, every session.”
Fried Chicken is Awesome - Finding YOUR way in a world gone mad. (2019)
In searching for certainty about choosing the right path, there is a stark truth. The truth is that choice carries burden. The burden of past and future choices. Without a crystal ball to see the future, and without the right skills, relief from the burden of choice comes down to one shocking reality. It means giving up the ability to choose. Giving up choice, or more importantly, not taking responsibility for the outcomes, frees you of the burden of choice. However, that freedom comes at a huge cost.
I am serious when I say fried chicken is awesome. I concede that the first few mouthfuls are the best. The spices, the load of salt and the grease. And I concede it’s a downwards spiral after that. However, all that doesn’t diminish how good it was at the start. It doesn’t take from the intention to eat it. It doesn’t take from the belief in the awesomeness of those first few bites.
In this striking and open account, I share my fall, the growth and the insights as I found my way.
I share how I found choice without burden.
Learn more at FriedChickenIsAwesome.com.
Coaching growth and success...
Coaching growth and success...
As a freelance Coach, I deliver virtual one-to-one coaching to help high performing individuals learn and grow. As well as assisting their organisations, the coaching helps these wonderful people find better forms of engagement in all aspects of their life experience.
To create the conditions for individuals in corporate environments to be their best selves, I also work with:
Sharpist supports organisations with developing their employees into inspiring leaders. Their mobile remote coaching platform enables personalised learning for the entire workforce: from anywhere and at any time.
Visit sharpist.com to learn more.
BetterUp helps organisations drive transformation through lasting behaviour change for all their key people.
Visit BetterUp.co to learn more.
Facilitating the conditions...
To create the conditions for large groups to be their best selves, I design and facilitate workshops via my partners:
Starfish Taylor helps large, multi-national organizations solve complex problems through creatively designed, artistically-inspired, event-based consulting projects, meetings and workshops, and targeted advisory services.
The Difference is PwC's collaboration and co-creation methodology - bringing client's best minds together to build solutions with the alignment and buy-in required to make change stick.
Visit PWC UK to learn more.