Our team, which prided itself on developing and delivering outstanding face-to-face training for a decade, was in dire straits when all training grounded to a halt in 2020. We expedited our transformation to digitalisation, but a big challenge was the team’s motivation in that VUCA world of COVID. We were the prisoners of our own (past) success.
As learning professionals, we knew there were no shortage of theories, books addressing the dilemma. Nevertheless, we needed workable (and easy to understand) models, structured frameworks, practical tools, and a walkthrough to show us the path. That was when Wayne came into the picture to lead and coach through the journey.
There is little filler or fluff in Wayne’s team coaching approach. It is pragmatic, methodical and constantly pushing one’s boundary. It is a self-discovery, action-learning journey of a series of small yet impactful steps, actions, and events for the team.
While every team member might get something different from it, the organisational results speak for themselves. The Zhongshan team’s silver medal in the 2021 business learning design national contest is just another latest achievement in learning digitalisation.
Transformation is never easy. Yet, it is not necessarily painful or unbearable when one knows there is someone to lean on and offer guidance on the Yellow Brick Road.
Albert Leung, Head of Facilitation, Learning and Transformation, Asia Pacific
I spent three and a half years in project management, working under Wayne. During this time I developed in-depth knowledge, great exposure, and lasting experience as a foreigner from Singapore. It was indeed an eye-opener working with Wayne and dealing with the huge market in China, involving massive volume. Still fresh in my mind are those problems we were overseeing in the end-to-end process. From the tender stage, contractual matters, order confirmation/technical compliances, manufacturing quality, on-time delivery, installation matters, and handing over challenges.
I remember there were many young project engineers and managers employed at branch offices across the country. The market growth was exponential and coping with the high numbers of secured orders with a shortage of experienced and trained project staff was a great challenge. Skill development training was of utmost importance and I was really impressed by the energy and passion you had working and traveling tirelessly every week to various regions, coaching, mentoring, facilitating, and helping improve the skill levels of our project staff.
My experience is that facilitation quality on skill development varies greatly. You are either doing it for the sake of going through the motions OR conducting it skillfully, benefiting the participants and capturing their interest. Preparing them for real-life situations which I find you are really good at it indeed. There is always a saying “Doing it right the first time” and this is the message you were emphasizing and putting into everyone’s mind.
Wayne, you are an extraordinary facilitator/coach/leader with the capability to reach out to the people, gaining their trust and confidence. Your programs are marvelous, while the skills and knowledge being shared are so practical. And more importantly, you deliver your training with great motivation and patience, creating sessions that are so lively and full of excitement.
What makes the difference is that many have learned from the coaching you provided, whenever you attend to those requiring your help and attention. There is no word that can express your enthusiasm to build and develop the skills of so many staff and I envy those people who are now able to enjoy your coaching and teaching.
Vincent Teng, Founder and CEO
At the end of 2020, when I reviewed the whole year performance, I thought there were a couple of areas that I could further improve, and I was longing to talk to someone to get feedback. However, some thoughts I prefer not to share with my manager or colleagues. I also wanted to know what blind spots I have, and if possible, learn to adjust and improve my approach and strategic thinking.
We have been collaborating with S4E already for 2-3 years and the feedback from our colleagues are very positive. Some of them even request to extend the length of their coaching program. Naturally, I immediately think of collaborating with S4E to address my own needs and desries. Additionally, I observed that they have consultants across all the major countries in the region with multiple language capabilities, which gives their customers a wide range of choices.
The coaching has been really rewarding. After a few sessions, my coach Wayne helped me identify the root causes of some of the issues I was facing, and also partnered with me to think about solutions and action plans. As a result I have restructured the HR team in the Asia Pacific region; cascaded and delegated work to the team members; increased my interaction with the global team members and now we are on the right track.
I have found the experience of being coached extremely positive. My coach was a phenomenal listener and gave me fantastic tips to improve my performance, whilst being realistic about the work I could take on, and the most importantly he made me think how to say no. The coach is not only helping me to identify, frame and clarify key personal development objectives but also offering practical tools, techniques and suggestions to achieve them. Working with my coach has materially improved my ability to empower, develop and challenge my team, my time management and my ‘personal brand’.
Alyssa Wang, Asia Pacific CHRO
I have benefited a lot from the coaching and mentoring from Wayne. When I was in his team, he developed me into a person who would embrace challenges and make change happen. Having transferred to a new company, we reached an agreement for regular coaching sessions to help me to get through that transition period.
The result have been exteemely positive. He has stretched me with his inspiring questions and patient guidance which has steered me through my first 100 days and led to an immediate promotion. One core highlight – Wayne has helped me to think how I can lead and develop the team rather than focus only on myself.
I really enjoy the coaching sessions with Wayne. After each session, I feel that I am energetic and passionate, and I have no fear on the future challenges. I really look forward to continuing this coaching partnership and achieving even greater success.
Yanni Chen, National Head, Marketing and Communications
I was at my lowest time coming into my 7th year of career life. I felt stuck and not sure how should I take my next step, or what is a healthy mindset to face the everyday challenges at work. I knew I needed someone that is empathetic and with related experience to help me to see the situation more clearly, and it would be even better if I can get some advice out of the conversation too.
The coaching/mentoring experience with S4E really helped me. Not only did I get to dive deep on my thoughts and stretch my mind, but also I felt encouraged and confident after liaising with my coach Wayne. He knew for sure I was able to achieve what I wanted, and it was exactly what I needed, now I look back on it.
Throughout the coaching/mentoring sessions, Wayne shared his wisdom in the areas that I was stuck in and created the brain space that allowed me to brainstorm what resources did I have to positively change the situation. After the sessions, he would send me reading lists, articles or some online learning opportunities he thought helpful for me, and even more so, he would connect me with other contacts when the timing was suitable.
I am grateful for the opportunity to be coached by team S4E and I feel that it was not just a coaching-ship, it was more like a friend being there for you and grow with you the entire time. I would certainly recommend my other fellow young professionals to S4E, because there are very few chances in our daily working life you get to have a conversation with people with extensive working background and vision to help you see the situation from a holistic point of view.
Lena Wei, Senior Sales Executive, China
After serving in the international corporate space for more than eight years, and coming from 17 years in different operational positions in my homeland (Spain) all of which in the one industry, it was for time to take stock and appraise my professional future. This is why I have decided to seek the services of Skills 4 Eexuctives.
Defining the vision thanks to the program and series of helpful questions offered by S4E, my assigned coach Wayne Brown, supported me identify the next steps to reach my target. The big challenge in this strategy is the complexity of the matrix organization and the different interest of all stakeholders at different levels, we defined a timeline for the target of 2 years.
By understanding my own needs and motivation, linking professional and personal goals, Wayne and I co-created a milestone-centered action plan. And importantly the plan enables me to use my learnings from my global experience, to continue contributing to the company.
In that sense, the methodology introduced by S4E has helped me a lot to first discover my real needs (personally and professionally) and the best solutions for my future direction. I have already initiated the action steps in a very transparent way with my leadership team, and after coaching and mentoring from Wayne I have had the confidence to propose a strategy that is the best for the company and for me.
Overall it has been an excellent, positive experience. Based on some great conversations with a lot of listening from the coach has helped me to get a clear vision of my achievements, current challenges, and next steps. I will definitely, recommend S4E to my friends and other colleagues.
Juan Miguel Lahoz, Global Head of Modernization
My story with S4E was started accidentally. Looking back at that period of time when I was struggling with my work, I found myself not feeling right with the way of thinking at work. For one thing, I found that there was somehow a lack of mentality to grasp the overall outlook of my work as a whole, and to deal with issues in a closed-loop way. For another, staff in my team was not able to complete tasks on time, which made me feel frustrated and forced me to realize my inadequate ability to lead my team to reach our goals.
Thirdly, as we worked more and more closely with international teams, English became the necessary working language for communication, however, my poor English skills stopped me from communicating with colleagues in different countries. This made me anxious and not able to push forward my work effectively. Confronted with all this, I saw myself just like a frog stuck in warm water. I could feel that something must have gone wrong, but I could not get motivated to make a change.
Right at that moment of time, I met the first coach in my life, Wayne Brown, at work. When I saw him, I could feel his inner peace and his heartfelt willingness to help. This made me feel motivated and want to open up my heart to talk about how I really felt. He helped me dig into the problems I met at work and found the root cause. He helped reset my goals, start to take action, and constantly take reviews.
As the coaching process went on, Wayne helped me see the real logic behind my behaviors at work, and to find the need hidden deep in my heart. I was shocked, sad, and even falling apart with my face full of tears, when I heard the voice of my own heart. It was a call that was never really heard or cared by anyone before, not even myself. Wayne didn’t say much to calm me down, but he just stayed there with me, and left some space for me to recover.
Only when I was able to put myself together again, did he start to guide me to think further, and worked with me all the way to find solutions to heal the wound in my heart? During the whole process, Wayne did not only play the role of a coach, but also a consultant and a mentor, who would switch his roles as the situations needed! This was truly helpful to me! He was really amazing, and I’d really appreciate it.
I just can not say enough to express my gratefulness. In the end, I was brave enough to leave the place I worked at, and to try and go for a new direction that I had always been longing for! And as a person, I have also finally recognized what I really wanted in my life and how to get it.
One is to go through several twists and turns and hardships before he or she could really grow in life. Once standing at a crossroad, or being lost or stuck deep in the mud, if someone could guide us with a heart of great love, or help us see the road under our feet from a broader perspective, that’d be a great fortune in our life! I hope you all to be such lucky people to meet your mentor, your coach, and your precious friends when you are lost!
Polly Liu, Learning and Development Manager, China
During this pandemic period, like most working professionals, I had a difficult time and uncertainty about my career and direction. Unexpectedly, I got introduced to Wayne by one of my colleagues.
Wayne is a master coach, with his wide range of Industrial experience and people development expertise, he mentored me for a one-year period.
During that time, he helped me transform by identifying core strengths and eliminating limiting beliefs.
The impacts I have gained are clarity, focus, and a positive outlook toward both professional and personal life. Thanks, is not sufficient to describe the level of help extended by Wayne.
I would recommend contacting Wayne, for anyone in need of executive development to accelerate their personal and professional growth.
Nazeer Ahamed, Sales – Singapore
Fast economic growth in China has been slowing down in recent years after decades of rapid growth, being an executive in a global company, I and my team are facing great challenges: how to survive and find new business opportunities to ensure sustainable faster growth? How to better prepare me and my team for these challenges?
Apart from my and team discussions and debates, I would like also to obtain some clues and ideas from external: customers, real estate developers,s and professional consultants are my 3 preferences. I have personally known Mr. Wayne Brown for more than 10 years, he is a trustworthy coach and sharp advisor. This time he shares with me his new book – SOLO executives and S4E. I am amazed by his sharing of “5 transformational strategies for leaders”. It supports my strategies (the WHAT) with new helpful out-of-box ideas as well as a strong (HOW) methodology. Working in a big organization a smart idea can be successful only after a thoughtful analysis and preparation supported by a well-structured execution plan by a devoted diverse team. S4E leads and inspires me with more consideration of “WHAT” and a systemic tool “HOW”, and the result is truly awarding because we do have a faster and breakthrough business growth even during the COVID-19 period.
People may every day be retracted by all kinds of information and training programs. I recommend you to read both his book and participate in his coaching. My suggestion is that good learning is based on 3 fundamentals otherwise it doesn’t work:
1. Find only a trusty worthy and experienced coach or institution, as I said I chose S4E because I have been trusting and respecting the author for more than 10 years;
2. Ideas and methodology work only on those who want and are eager to learn, not on those who have been fully filled and overwhelmed with his/her own past experiences;
3. New learning is supportive only when we apply and practice it in our real work.
Hopefully, you will enjoy the S4E journey as I do.
Helen Ling, Senior Vice President, Field Operation of China North