Hugh operated at “C” level in corporates for over 20 years, in both functional and general management roles, and has over 30 years’ experience in both private and listed corporates. He is practiced at dealing with boards, EXCO’s and teams, and has lead teams ranging in size from 10 to 360 people, with associated sales accountability of up to R700m per annum.
Hugh has lived in South Africa for over 30 years, but has also lived and worked in France, England, Australia, Thailand, and Sri-Lanka. He has conducted business in Europe (UK, Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland, and Denmark), USA, Japan (every year for 10 years), Hong Kong and China, India, Israel, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand and New Zealand. In sub-Saharan Africa, his business experience includes Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Uganda, Nigeria, Zambia, Namibia and Rwanda. Thus, he is able to bring local, African and global business experience to bear.
Over the last 10 years as a full-time executive coach, he has worked with over 400 managers and accumulated more than 2500 hours in both group and 1:1 coaching. Hugh operates in South Africa and sub Saharan Africa for local and regional organisations, especially at “C” level, but also for senior and middle managers, and individuals wanting to accelerate their development, including MBA students and leadership teams. His Masters research focused on how to use coaching to fast track executives into senior management positions.
He has coached in the private sector for listed and smaller companies including financial services companies (Insurance and banks), major consulting companies, Telcos and ICT companies, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, both retail and services organisations, and mining companies. He works with GIBS on many of their leadership programmes.
He has also coached in Government entities such as SARS, State Owned Enterprises, Gauteng provincial hospitals and NGOs.
His ability to engage with business issues from his experience, often on the softer skills, such as implementing management processes, managing corporate politics and building networks, has proven popular with managers.
Hugh’s coaching style is both performance oriented and developmental. He believes strongly in a strengths-based approach to build up current competencies to become even more effective. He will suggest in between session exercises and readings that generate deep introspective reflection related to self-awareness and practical challenges in the work context, enabling performance at a higher level of leadership.
This approach enables an alignment between the individual’s self-awareness, their personal goals and the organisation’s, so that a coaching plan can then be customised both to suit the organisation’s requirements and the individual’s needs and ambitions.
Hugh uses a variety of tools, such as reflection, values, identifying and leveraging strengths, developing personal vision and evolving SMART goals.
Leadership topics that clients often choose to engage with have included:
- Making a transition into a new role (developing a 100 day plan),
- Exploring and modifying leadership styles,
- Identifying and leveraging strengths and values,
- Developing a personal brand,
- Evolving authentic leadership,
- Refining personal vision,
- Growing more confidence and self-esteem,
- Managing politics and power,
- Developing a vision for a team or company,
- How to develop and run effective performance management systems,
- Having courageous conversations/giving difficult feedback and,
- How to motivate people.
From a skills development perspective, clients have gained value from developing skills in:
- Successful delegation,
- Time management/prioritisation,
- Managing diversity,
- Improved presentation skills,
- Effective work/life balance,
- Better email etiquette,
- Developing resilience,
- How to clear up issues and resolve conflict in the team – “dealing with the elephant in the room”
Hugh has been married for 32 years to a lecturer at GIBS, and has a 25 year old son who graduated from Wits with the first degree in video games development, and now runs his own games studio. He enjoys travel and reading, and builds model aeroplanes for fun.
- Masters of Management in Business and Executive Coaching at Wits Business School, 2012 (Dissertation: “Factors in South Africa inhibiting the progression of black executives in their careers and the role of coaching in their development”, focused on how to fast-track Black executives into senior management positions)
- Business Coaching Diploma (with Distinction) - Milpark Business School, 2010
- Accredited as a Coach Practioner by COMENSA and a member of ICF
- Currently undergoing accreditation with ICF at Professional Coach level (PCC)
- MBA (Cum Laude) - Wits Business School, 1995
- BSc (Eng) Hons Electronics - Southampton University, UK, 1980