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31 Jul, 2012

Coach In The Spotlight – Nandu Menon

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Coach Spotlight|In The Spotlight

Coach In The Spotlight - Nandu Menon

I just completed my PPD and Corporate Diploma from TCA after 7 months of the most remarkable & transformative journey in my life.

Prior to coaching, I have 20 yrs corporate experience in the sales arena and for the last 6 yrs handled the UK, France, Italy & Spain terrain understanding business sensitivities or perhaps misunderstanding it. Mindless travel and day to day tasks neither provided me time to think nor develop myself.

Never knew about the concept of setting personal goals. Just got mired into the sales routine with the intent of acquiring newer clients & strategize on quotas.

Signed up for the TCA certification programme in July 2011. Was a distinct experience. On day one of this programme, I advised the living daylights out of whoever appeared in front of me in the GROW exercises with one of the participants visualizing how to strangle me, another giving abbreviated curses, left the observer rotating on the head of a pin and a few other variants.

2nd day, I was better tamed. Understood the importance of silence, non judgmental & non-prescriptive approach in coaching . Did another coaching session on a participant and after the session his face manifested an 18th century stain-glass expression which I can now categorise as one that borders on heightened awareness.

Decided to do 2 diplomas from TCA the very same day, this skill has to be mastered.

In Aug 2011 emancipated myself from my job and enrolled for PPD & Corporate Diploma programs. Dabbled with the idea of starting on my own for a year but neither had the guts nor resourcefulness but finally crossed the chasm & set up my company in the UK ‘Headstride Ltd’ which has 2 arms : Leadership Coaching ( my niche ) and Sales Training/ Workshops ( my life time skill , indulgence & passion )

I chose Leadership as a niche as I was always drawn to its concepts and development theories. In my corporate career, I have met a few CxO’s and CEO’s of client companies and was intrigued at the level of their concern and perception.

The niche is challenging, seeks hardcore skills and attributes from me as a coach hence am encouraged to pursue it and stretch my zone. My 3 ½ year work stint in the Member of the Board & President’s office of a 11 bn USD firm also provides an iota of credibility and am a research- student now for life in this niche .

I also like life coaching due to its level of personal touch and have a few clients.

Coaching has been a radically new skill acquisition for me and with its listening, rapport creation, summarizing, paraphrasing and whole lot of ‘making a man out of you’ competencies, I have re-entered atmosphere & civilization. The contribution TCA made towards my development is indescribable.

Attended a seminar at London and learnt about a distinction ‘Biography is not Destiny’ and it was my light bulb moment. People do 4 yrs of engineering/law/MBA or 5 yrs of a particular function and this becomes their biography and they consider it as their only skill & destiny.

I further learnt that one can pursue whatever one wishes to and succeed if he/she is passionate in that field , stays the course , preserves faith daily and takes massive actions every day . In the first 12 years I worked in the Engineering & Technology industry, and then gave up my seniority and experience to work for the next 8 yrs in the emerging mobile communication industry.

Coaching & training is now the leitmotif of my life as it’s concordant with my objectives & desire.

Of the aspects that accentuated my learning, I attribute highest significance to the accelerator days, real-life coaching sessions & assessments, virtual seminars, well written module, books and workshops.

My goals for next 2 yrs:

• Carve out a brand for my firm Headstride Ltd in the transformation & personal development industry.

• Become one amongst the best leadership coaches & sales trainers in the world. Do whatever it takes to learn the nuances.

• Become an author and work in the cognitive sciences field (my role models being, Stephen Pinker, Robert Sapolsky & others).

• Become a TED world forum speaker


Tips for other qualifying colleagues:

• Coaching is not just a skill. It’s a personality shift administered through concepts and immersion to alter our thinking from a speaking & judging mode to a listening & reflecting mode . Keep it alive by being a serious student, peripheral book reading, augmenting courses etc before you submit your documents for assessment.

• In corporate coaching it helps if coach has both business touch (organizational knowledge) as well as Psychological touch (understanding cognitive & emotional states).

Though coaching is a forward looking concept and doesn’t delve too much into the past, a little bit about the genesis of the mind & its formation provides a bit more richness and texture to the coach’s skill.

• The biggest challenge during my qualification stage was to manage myself, my daily feelings and thoughts. I must admit out of 7 months, I must have easily squandered a month in self-doubt, anxiety, worries about scaffolding my business etc leading to inaction and rumination.

Had it not been for certain books and this protective umbrella of TCA, I would have regressed. Do manage your thoughts well, every day.

• Make the practice coaching sessions absolutely sacrosanct. It’s the best and most important skill building platform.


My favourite coaching question:
‘What is it that you want to become / do / experience, the lack of which gives you anxious moments’?

Sincere thanks to all the coaches for the practice sessions , you have so brilliantly facilitated my thinking and action orientation .

Best of luck and sincere wishes from my heart to all fellow qualifying coaches . I wish a day emerges , some sort of ‘ world coaching day’ and all of us get to celebrate at Trafalgar square or the likes of it .

TCA, what can I say, you folks are such a supremely motivated lot.

Nandu Menon

9 Responses to "Coach In The Spotlight – Nandu Menon"

1 | Suresh Patel

August 1st, 2012 at 12:13 am


I wish you had mentioned your heroes and your favourite writers.


2 | Mark Tanner

August 2nd, 2012 at 10:42 am


Hi Nandu,

A great article describing your coaching journey so far. Your passion shines through so well so I’m sure you’ll succeed.



3 | Bev James MD of The Coaching Academy

August 4th, 2012 at 12:18 pm


Thank you for sharing your story Nandu and for the great tips for other qualifying coaches.
We look forward to supporting you on your coaching journey and wish you every success for the future.

4 | Simone Fergus

August 4th, 2012 at 7:05 pm


Hay Nandu,

Thanks for sharing, yes a world coaching day would be fantastic! Maybe, you could arrange it? I’d definitely help out!
Keep up the good works and all the best with your business, stride on ; )

5 | Piotr Jankiewicz

August 5th, 2012 at 5:49 pm


Hello Nandu,
I love your determination – “do whatever it takes…”. All the best! Keeping my fingers crossed.

6 | Swati Pradhan

August 6th, 2012 at 5:34 pm


Hi Nandu,

It was great to read your story! Many congratulations on your qualification and I wish you all the very best in your coaching journey!

Warm regards,

7 | Nandu Menon

August 10th, 2012 at 1:17 am


Hi Suresh , Mark , Bev , Simone , Piotr , Swati

Since i dont know how to individually respond to your comments in this blog , am doing it collectively .

Bev thanks for the nice words , appreciate the encouragement and you taking time out to read it amidst your packed schedule .

Mark , Piotr , Swati – Appreciate your comments .

Suresh – yes could have mentioned it , anyway we can discuss this offline . I am an ardent fan of P G Wodehouse for his humour and prose , Somerset Maugham for his depth of human mind analysis in his books , Malcolm Gladwell for his observations & analogies as to how we think & behave .

Simone thanks for reciprocating the thought . Yes definitely on the agenda and as we mature into the business and attain strength and credentials from ICF in the coaching arena , thats an idea in the offing . Prior to celebration , just need to get some robust coaching work in my repertoire. Appreciate your wishes and consent to co-operate .


Nandu Menon

8 | Steve Smith

August 10th, 2012 at 2:04 pm


Hi Nandu

Just like our practice coaching sessions your enthusiasm is obvious and brimming over in your story. What an ahievement completing both diplomas in 7 months, well done. Good luck building the business and do keep in touch.

9 | Suresh Patel

August 21st, 2012 at 9:42 pm


Hello Nandu
Someday I will try P.G. Woodhouse, but I would like to stay away from Somerset. He takes the evil side of the human nature very seriously and he can be very depressing. Why don’t you try Ayn Rand.? You will forget evrybody else. And try Victor Hugo too. These two writers will show you the best in a humanbeing. The stories are very uplifting. Good for the soul.

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