Having Mike as a coach has helped me to be able to express these thoughts and emotions in a safe space – without judgement. It has helped me focus on the positives and focus my mind back to why I set up the business in the first place. My mind can become a whirl of thoughts and ideas and plans and talking with Mike helps me to unmuddle it all – and I walk away much clearer. As I let the words tumble out my mouth – usually in an unstructured fashion – Mike is great at picking out the underlying key message – and reflecting it back to me. Something then ‘clicks into place’ in my head.
I’m at a bit of a crossroads in my career and facing a lot of changes in my role, business and category. And it’s true to say I’m experiencing more indecision than I am familiar with and pushing for a greater clarity on what is the next best move/decision to make. The coaching has enabled me to set a 6 month ‘deadline’ to focus my efforts and give myself some time and breathing space – to hopefully feel more informed and able to make some major decisions about my future and/or next career move. It is helping to better manage the anxiety of this indecision.
The sessions themselves are enormously important to give me 90 mins of ‘me time’ (that is already pre-booked and I won’t change despite numerous meeting invites/requests!). In my role it’s a luxury to have this time to focus on myself and to be able to stand back, look at a situation more objectively, and at times just let off steam. I definitely feel the therapeutic benefit and reassurance of the sessions on a personal level. And importantly I trust Mike in his role as a listener/sounding board – with a great balance of empathy, pragmatism and experience.
I’ve found that the time for reflection has helped me structure and organise my thought processes more effectively, and the end result has been more consideration of all the options open to me to resolve an issue or progress an initiative. Often, I will get caught up in the day-to-day, or in the politics or dynamics of a situation and find it difficult to step back and be objective. My coaching sessions with Mike give me the ability to consider a situation or problem from different angles, which I would otherwise find difficult to do. This typically means that I will end up taking a different route than the one I originally identified, or tackling a problem or issue that I had previously considered insurmountable.
It’s been really helpful for me to be able to talk to someone about work who isn’t directly involved yet has enough “real world” commercial and corporate experience to be able to be understand and probe particular areas we talk about in detail. In our coaching sessions I feel I’m able to be frank, honest and without worry that I will be judged or say the wrong thing. That trusted relationship means that I am more open that I would usually be, which often makes it easier to get under the surface of an issue to talk about the real anxieties behind them (rather than the obvious stated ones). Purely in terms of having a regular sounding board, it’s really benefitted my interactions with colleagues at all levels in the business. Often, situations feel less combustible as a result.
I always leave my coaching sessions with actions; things to consider for next time, different approaches to try; reading material – so it always feels as though it’s a continual process of reflection, and not just an occasional, intermittent conversation. The feedback that Mike gives me during the sessions is always honest and frank and also helps me with perspective (getting some, usually). I frequently find that I am reflecting on that feedback in the weeks immediately following the session too and adjusting my approach as we go.
Emma Clark, Executive Strategy Director, Table19
For me, working with Mike has revealed three distinct strengths that I think are quite rare.
First of all, he is extremely strong at pulling people together from across the breadth of an organisation, from a range of departments and roles, to truly collaborate on a project or initiative even when the set up may be dysfunctional at the outset.
Secondly, he is brilliant at staying focused and championing the vision for the programme he is working on with a very clear roadmap and KPIs.
Third and finally, Mike really does get the best out of people. He has an amazing ability to build a rapport and connection with different types of individuals. People really respect and trust him and he promotes positivity at all times (even in the face of adversity).
Mike is hugely effective in working with people and identifying their strengths and contributions – from the Exec team to more junior roles, it’s an absolute strength. I cannot recommend him highly enough. And he’s a really lovely guy too.
Mike Regnier, CEO, YBS Group
I worked with Mike from 2014-2018, and rarely have I come across someone with such passion and energy, combined with an unwavering commitment to doing the best he can for his team and for customers.
Most recently he has been managing the complex closure of a line of business, which he did brilliantly, ensuring that customers were treated at all times in the best way we could, and that the colleagues who were impacted felt motivated to give their all during times of uncertainty for them personally.
I have no hesitation in recommending Mike if you’re looking for someone that can deliver for the business, in a way that’s sensitive to the needs of its customers and its colleagues.
Richard Wells, CRO, YBS Group
In my role as Chief Risk Officer I worked with Mike at the Yorkshire Building Society during its merger with the Norwich and Peterborough Building Society and post merger whilst Mike held senior roles within the merged entity.
I wanted to recommend Mike because during that time he was always seen by the Group’s ExCo and by myself as an expert in managing any range of customer experience outcomes, and particularly in agitating for balanced improvement. Mike provided great insights and fresh outlooks to the Group whilst engaging with colleagues at all levels including a great deal of Board involvement.
Additionally ExCo and I always saw Mike as a “go-to” colleague for anything complicated that would require multi-disciplinarian roles to resolve. He has a great track record in managing multiply skilled colleagues toward a key goal including task with a great deal of critical regulatory focus.
Throughout; his management behaviors and colleague engagements have been among the best in the Group.
Wendy Berry, Consultant Project Manager, BAE Systems
What has impressed me the most about Mike is his passion for joining up customer and people experience to create something compelling, amazing and remarkable which is very engaging for the teams he leads and works alongside.
He has the ability to paint an achievable strategic vision whilst at the same time motivating and influencing the actions the wider business needs to take to accomplish this, makes him an impressive leader. He has always found a balance between meeting challenges as well as showing empathy and understanding when it’s time for a tough decision.
Working with Mike has been a pleasure, he is very straightforward which made my role as Business Lead for him refreshingly easy.
Tim Robson, MD, NSU Media
Mike’s passionate about seeing the needs of customers rise above the noise of life in a large, multi-layered organisation and for us, has been really easy to do business with in a programme setting.
He’s able to bring people together across a wide range of disciplines to align around new and ambitious business outcomes and in many conversations has been the glue that’s held it together. A pleasure to work alongside!
Stephen White, COO, YBS Group
Mike worked for the YBS Group for over 30 years and he has been a fabulous servant, making a difference to our members, customers and being a fantastic leader.
I have worked with Mike for the last 4 years where he has led the significant transformation of YBS into 1 brand on the high street, closed the current account book without customer detriment (largest globally) and migrated hundreds of thousands of customers onto a single platform without loss of service.
He is continually customer focused and takes colleagues with him. He has many strengths including execution, collaboration, focused on the end vision, getting the best out of people and ensuring the benefits are delivered.
Mike leaves a very positive legacy and should be exceptionally proud of what he has done. I would have no hesitation in recommending him.