“There is always a way to resolve any situation”, believes Lynne Peyton. By inculcating this proactive approach within herself throughout her professional journey, Lynne has mastered the art of solving organisational challenges, developing strong leadership and supporting teams to achieve outstanding results.
Currently, Lynne is working as a Change Management Specialist and Leadership Coach at her own business, Lynne Peyton Consultancy. If any individual or business is feeling stuck, overwhelmed by the workload and pace of change, frustrated by their results, constantly striving to maintain staff, or is keen to improve professional outcomes, Lynne can help them get to the core of the issue by blasting through the limiting beliefs that hold them back.
Life-Changing Events that Shaped her Life
Looking back, Lynne believes there were 4 life-changing events that contributed to her being blessed to be doing what she loves every single day, guiding leaders in organizations, supporting children and families to get better outcomes, through more effective and focused leadership.
One was a summer job in a holiday camp in England the year she left High School. That incident exposed her to the challenges faced by seasonal workers- poverty, discrimination, potential homelessness and for many an absence of hope for the future. Her previous desire to be a French teacher was shelved and she renegotiated her university course to social studies and subsequently obtained a master’s degree in social work.
Another incident she recalls is joining the Officer Training Corps. That event started her formal leadership development journey and gave her an outlet for her insatiable appetite for trying new things, including driving tanks and jumping out of helicopters! The third event is when she was working in a family crisis center in Richmond Virginia in 1980. It made her aware of how small Ireland is in the bigger scheme of things. It whetted her appetite for thinking bigger, more multiculturally, and working internationally. Indeed, she bought a second home in Florida in 1990 and has had businesses in both countries since that time. Lynne is also a member of different global masterminds and programmes.
Last incident she recalls is completing her first Tony Robbins, Unleash the Power Within seminar in Geneva – including a firewalk. That life-changing event was instrumental in her making the decision to set up her consultancy company so that she could influence in a different way and impact more people. Having completed all of the Robbins Research ‘mastery’ programmes, Lynne was on faculty as a senior leader at events for more than 10 years.
Initially, the biggest challenge for Lynne was getting acknowledgment that managers at all levels needed training and coaching in leadership skills. While some people are intuitively good leaders, for most people leadership skills can be learned and everyone needs coaches and mentors to help them on their leadership journey.
Another challenge is the belief that it is first-line managers who need the most support, whereas in Lynne’s experience effective change management starts at the top. According to Lynne, the value of the CORE
Leadership Development programme is that it combines individual coaching and mentoring for senior managers with a series of developmental workshops for the top team as well as experiential sessions and one–to-one coaching for first line managers. This combined programme transforms diverse, separated, and disconnected functions within organisations into one coherent team with a common vision and purpose.
Helping Organizations Cope with Constant Change
Lynne mentions that we have to meet people in their model of the world, so she always start with listening to understand the current challenges as they perceive them.
She believes that working to build a common vision and identity within the top team at an early stage is essential as they have to set the culture for the agency. This challenges them to work collaboratively and corporately at a strategic level rather than solely delivering on operational targets in their specific teams. Lynne’s CORE multi-level leadership program supports organizations in coping with constant change, by improving leadership skills in four key areas: communication skills; the capacity to optimize all of the resources at their disposal including personal time and energy; the development of key relationships; and the capacity to effectively evaluate the impact of everything they do.
Lynne states that hers is a niche market that includes statutory children’s services, fostering and adoption and mental health organisations that provide assessment and protective services to the most vulnerable in our society.
Although this is a billion-dollar market globally, employing millions of staff, for the most part it is not treated like a business and managers at all levels are not given the leadership and business skills needed to be effective. While they may excel at case management and risk analysis, they often struggle with prioritization, teambuilding, managing challenging staff and delegation.
The reason her approach works is because Lynne understands their business. Over 20 years, she held all the jobs from junior to senior management, including operational and strategic management posts in the health and social care sector including multi-agency and international roles as well as Director of a not-for-profit agency. The extra added value she brings is from the years of training in NLP and Neuroscience as well as in business and organizational change and culture.
It’s all about maintaining a Positive Mindset
While talking about the impact of Covid Lynne recalls the statement by her colleague, ‘while we are all in the same storm, we are each in our own boat’. She asserts that everyone has a unique experience of the challenges for them personally, their team and their families and the interconnection between all of those.
This is particularly true of essential workers like social workers and mental health professionals, who are delivering services at great personal risk, within ever changing lockdown restrictions (Ireland North and South, has operated stringent arrangements for several months) while working remotely. For some this has included the added responsibility of homeschooling or caring for vulnerable relatives.
The single most important leadership quality is the capacity to maintain a positive mindset, regardless of the changing circumstances and to set appropriate boundaries around work and home life, learning to say no and recognizing the need to treat each member of staff as an individual.
Adding More Value in the Years Ahead
At 67, Lynne still has incredible energy, she is still growing and developing herself and her businesses and figuring out how she can add even more value in the years ahead.
The wonderful thing about coaching is the huge number of lives you impact. Lynne has two mantras. One is to always leave people better than she found them and to reconcile that with the fact that when mentoring and coaching we need to give people what they need, rather than what they want. Identifying ways to communicate feedback kindly and relevantly is a daily challenge. Lynne states that it is wonderful to meet people years after the event and hear from them that the work her team did changed their lives. She is currently exploring a Doctorate in Professional Studies.
As they say what goes round comes around. Lynne and her husband are proud that their three adult sons are all involved in promoting leadership and education within their respective professions.
Love What you Do and Do What You Love
In her advice to emerging entrepreneurs, she says, “Love what you do and do what you love. Get clear on your purpose and how it will translate into realistic outcomes. Think out of the box when challenged in any aspect of your journey and ask – What am I not seeing? What if there was another way? Who could help me? Who could I learn from? The internet gives us access to so many inspirational leaders, male and female, but we still need coaches who will hold us accountable for delivering results and for ensuring our business is financially viable. Theory without action is called dreaming.”
Lynne’s passion is the core business of Lynne Peyton Consultancy and that is probably where she spends 70% of her time and energy because it’s where she honestly believes she makes a difference, both to the quality of services for vulnerable children, and to the satisfaction and well-being of the staff and managers dedicated to supporting them.
Wisdom for Female Leaders
To upcoming female leaders, she advises, “Be strong, be committed and do it your way.” Lynne recognises she has been lucky as only once or twice in over 40 years did she feel she may have lost out on an opportunity because she was female. She simply never believed that she did not have the same opportunity or chances as her male colleagues. She adds, “Make sure you have great people in your corner. Be coachable and get involved with other high-level thinkers. Get out of your comfort zone, be prepared to stretch yourself. Step into the unknown. The only failure is when you stop trying. As Cheri Tree, founder of BANKCODE technologies says, ‘the best way to predict the future is to create it yourself’.”