From lone soldier to thriving leader: how a brave leap bonded a disjointed team

The challenge:

At the tail end of a pandemic, still suffering staff shortages, ever increasing demands and an overall feeling of being overwhelmed Simon caught me at just the right time! I’d had a rough time throughout the pandemic, lost a family member to covid and family members had suffered badly. Work was suffering too – customers and staff and the responsibility of making sure all ran smoothly, and everyone felt supported was all getting a bit much – whilst I felt like a lone solider.

I always had fire in my belly, but it was slowly dampening and I just didn’t want to let that happen. Life’s tough enough isn’t it without losing your mojo as well! I wanted to be an inspiration and make me and my family happy not and absolute drain and one of those people that constantly dwells on the negative and what could have been.

What Big Knows did?

So, Simon arrived, and we were brought together as a peer group to do some work with him. We all rocked up on teams one Friday morning with that ’ have we really got time for this’ face on! Everyone a bit suspicious thinking ‘we’ve been here before and nothing will change’…..well how wrong we were!

We had got through the best part of 2 years without actually spending time with each other and how refreshing was that! But then Simon spoke to us and slowly our magic unfolded.

Simon built trust with us, he’s a cracking sense of humour and a sense of humility that really resounded with us all. He allowed us time to speak, off load, share our experiences in a safe environment and generally touch base with the very people who we could lean on for support and encouragement.

The aha moment

Guess what – there was a wonderful realisation that we were all feeling pretty much the same, that we all had the same anxiety, stresses, worries, concerns, and colleagues I’ve worked with for many years were opening up in ways I’ve never heard them do before. I was! it opened my eyes. It gave us all a platform to not just get to know each other better but to understand perspective and as time went by, we all just sort of ‘got it’!

We began to show each other support in a way we had never done with the wider peer group before. We inspired, supported and mentored each other!

The results

Simon really drilled down – got us thinking, gave us time, encouraged reflection.  I reflected; I did this a lot. Simon helped me to understand the restraints I put myself under and how I was undermining my own confidence and ability to grow. I kept looking back at the exercises on reflection that we did with him, and decided to be brave! I set myself a target – just the one and pushed myself…it felt uncomfortable at first but slowly my confidence grew.


From lone soldier to thriving leader: how a brave leap bonded a disjointed team Big Knows

Three words to describe Simon and his Big Knows

  • genuine
  • humble
  • cracking at his job

Final thoughts…

I’m now at a point in my life and career where I have options, choices and opportunity. I have this because I let myself believe in me. Simon facilitated this mindset and encouraged me to grow, both within my role at work and as an individual. I’ve realised that resilience isn’t about being tough and not caring, it’s about knowing your own worth, not being afraid, being true and authentic to you, being resourceful and always moving forward with positivity in your mind. Well, that’s what it means to me now.

I can’t thank Simon enough, he’s a genuine, sincere bloke who is absolutely cracking at his job. I will always be grateful for him and everything he taught me. If you get opportunity to work with him, grab it! You won’t be disappointed!

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