Hunter business coach Tim Ryan moves to ilume Australia, with Newcastle workshops in pipeline
Tim Ryan, a partner with ilume Australia, catches up with the Newcastle Herald to talk leadership, coaching and the best business advice he’s ever heard.
This article first appeared on the Newcastle Herald.
Your first business was in electronics. How so?
I started Tim Ryan Electronics in 1982 when I was 23. I completed an Electronics Trades apprenticeship with Wormald Security and started contracting to Wormald to allow me to spend half the year chasing surf in Hawaii and Indonesia.
You founded Data Cabling Solutions in 1989, which you sold to Chubb in late 1999 and worked with them until 2005. What did you learn from that period?
Firstly, it was to follow an opportunity, renaming Tim Ryan Electronics to Data Cabling Solutions was a rebranding exercise to leverage that opportunity. Computers and Networking were in their infancy in the late 80’s and the skills and the focus on quality that I developed in my trade equipped me well in the market. Secondly, I learnt what a young talented team focussed and aligned on providing the best quality product in a market can achieve. Finally, I learnt that large multinationals often struggle to focus on customers and their staff.
You took a two-year sabbatical after you left Chubb you sold that business. What did you do?
My wife Catherine, our four children and I took off around Australia in a converted Denning Coach towing a trailer containing a Nissan Patrol, eighteen surfboards and assorted other essentials. We completed a full lap of Australia and Tasmania throughout 2015 and 2016.
You became a business coach and partner at Altus Q Shirlaws in 2007 and then AltusQ in 2013. What led you into that industry?
A friend, Eric Fleming, had coached me during the growth of Data Cabling Solutions which I found invaluable. A business coach from Shirlaws rented my house when we were travelling and made the introduction to Shirlaws, it was one of the sliding doors moments. I had always had a love of helping people and building business; it felt like a perfect fit.
What qualifications did you bring to the table as a coach, both formal and informal?
I really enjoyed the people and process part of building a business and I have always had a desire to succeed for both my clients and myself. In hindsight I underestimated the learning curve!
You’re now a director of ilume Australia with your former Altus Q colleagues Joe Porteus and Jeff Herrick. It’s a partnership with subsidiary of ilume NZ, the leading coaching outfit in New Zealand. What led to that move?
At AltusQ, we had a best of breed strategic facilitation product, however we lacked world class leadership development and coach training products. We sent Joe on a mission across Australia and New Zealand to find a partner who had a complementary product set, and across the ditch, he found the remarkable Angela Neighbours and Raechel Ford who founded ilume.
How does ilume stand out in coaching?
We focus on the return on investment both commercially and personally and we have a complete all of business product suite to suit ASX’s through to start-ups which is rare for a coaching company. Between the partners we have nearly 100 years of coaching experience. Ilume’s Mindset28 Constructive Developmental Framework, underpinning our Leadership Development Programs and Executive Coaching Programs, is ground-breaking and based on the work of two Harvard professors, Robert Kegan and Otto Laske. It is based on the premise that leaders do not necessarily need more skills, they need to develop their cognitive ability and advance their social and emotional development, which is all about growing their minds. Feedback we received from ilume’s clients when completing our due diligence was nothing short of remarkable. Angela and Raechel successfully converted Harvard academic brilliance into a practical product for business.
The most common challenge business executives you coach struggle with?
They feel like they are in over their head and lack clarity in direction for the business and themselves.
What is your response?
Help develop their leadership capability and if they are not already clear get them clear on the vision for their business and themselves. Then let their businesses fly.
Best business advice?
“Do what you love doing” because as John Lennon sang, “Life is what you are living while you’re busy making other plans” and the second from Simon Sinek: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”. I feel privileged to do what I do everyday which is pretty cool.