Project Me LIVE! First Event 6th October 2018

Wow Kelly Pietrangeli what an amazing first Project Me Live event!

I was so proud to be entrusted as your MC for the day and to enjoy supporting some fantastic ladies, speakers, your wonderful volunteers and Project Me tribe.


Project Me Live 2018

With the amazing Kelly P of Project Me

It’s not often enough any of us dedicate a whole day to our Health and Wellbeing, and I know for sure I have taken some amazing practical steps since. Whether I am making sure I take micro-moments of self-care that makes all the difference when juggling everything (thank you @Suzy Reading); paying more attention to my posture I promise Charlene (@positivelyslim) or being more connected with my breath Dominique (@BeSphro) I am building my health toolkit and feeling much better for it.

We really can take this aspect of our life wheel and give ourselves some much needed TLC ladies.

Looking forward to 2019 and all your exciting new plans to spread balance and positive action around the world @KellyProjectMe

For more on the 6th October 2018 Live Event - Project Me Live Event in Words and Pictures, visit Kelly’s Blog

I share my 10th business birthday with James Bond…and Spotify

Where were you in 2008? Do you remember what you were doing?

On October 1st 2008, I launched my business – in the same year Quantum of Solace was released and Spotify launched.

The old adage of ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ certainly could not be truer.

I started out with an idea, a dream of being a freelance consultant, working with companies to improve their leadership, empower both their young or new leaders and refresh the experienced ones.
I wanted to make a difference, to see less conflict, more ability to cope when the pressure’s on, to help people do a good job and avoid HR issues caused by poor communication, lack of awareness amongst leadership teams and company hierarchy.

It’s what I’d done for many years but 10 years ago I stepped back into consultancy and into a world of freedom and variety – working in any industry, employers large or small, leaders and/or their teams – and it’s been amazing!

Cheryl Brooker 10 Years v2.jpg

I’ve supported and worked with:
Probation services
Financial services
Elite sport
Aviation and aerospace
Legal and manufacturing
NHS and Healthcare

It’s the people within the organisations who inspire me. I meet them, get to understand them and either for individuals or teams, get to explore possibilities, look for opportunity and discover their strengths to nurture, develop and build.

When I’m inspired I know that’s when I’m at my best. Bringing strength, challenge and intuition alongside care, kindness and fun, because no-one wants a boring classroom! Through interaction, involvement, feedback and reflection – so people don’t just learn the theory, they do it.
My support allows others to know when they’re at their best and base their leadership around that.

At home, my children were five and three when I launched the business and my husband 100% behind my endeavours.
Here’s to another 10 when the teenage years will seem a distant memory and maybe they’ll be flying the nest, first homes, travelling or even creating families of their own.

I’m looking for new people to work with over the next 10 years – people who want their teams to develop, individuals who want to work on their own leadership and discover their own strengths to take their businesses forward with confidence and structure.
One-day events, coaching and ongoing development – I offer bespoke services to match what you need and what will make a difference to you.
It’s so important to get leadership right and we often don’t pay it as much attention as our professional or technical skills – it’s like the foundations of a building…things will crumble if the core isn’t solid.

Get in touch and have a conversation with me – just over coffee and we’ll talk about what a fresh loo at leadership development can bring to your company or personal ambition.
Take a look at my testimonials to see where I’ve taken others in their leadership journey too.

The creation of a new brand - It's Personal too

I never knew that developing my new brand, website and crafting something after 10 years in business could be so inspiring and energising. Colours remind us all of different brands and navigating through the differing views and perceptions made choosing mine tricky at times.

I did what I've always done - asked those whose opinions count among colleagues, clients and friends, and then of course the family too! Then to complete the ensemble, I added in a splash of professional design and marketing input that I am so lucky to have found in the last few months.

But..with every opinion willingly shared comes association with every colour or shape because it brings to mind a big-named brand; sometimes in a good way and often also not.

Then there is being torn between a favourite colour, in my case red, and what that could convey to potential clients. The Color Psychology of Red is bright and warm, evoking strong emotions. Associated with love, warmth, and comfort, red is also considered an intense, or even angry, color that creates feelings of excitement or intensity. Hmmmmmm that's a little bit of a double-edged sword for me.

Then a question I kept being asked was: ' there a specific colour on your new website, or a colour that makes people think of you?' to which I found myself realising the only constant colour associated with me is my ginger hair.  It's captured in all the colour photos on my new website and I thought it has to be my accent colour going forward.  So the 'hot' orange logo was born.

Yes orange is the striking colour for Easyjet and B&Q, both of which I purchase from, but it's also the tick in Nike and what makes GlaxoSmithKline stand out.


Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation. In heraldry, orange is symbolic of strength and endurance. And that quite simply is a list I can hold true to my principles, how I operate and support my clients in any aspect of their development as leaders.

Let's take my ginger logo out to the world and see the splash it makes.


The leadership of a national gymnastic coach

All eyes will be on Glasgow from tomorrow and hopes for our Men's GB Gymnastics Squad. Like many others I will of course be willing each gymnast on, and with club loyalty to Pegasus Gymnastics in Maidstone, my heart especially goes out to their gymnasts James Hall and Courtney Tulloch.

Ionut & James.jpg

But, my attention and focus will equally be on their coaching team, alongside them in the arena by each apparatus providing the leadership and support in the wings.  As coaches and leaders they are feeling it as much as their athletes, but when it comes to those high pressure moments, all they can do is stand by while needing to be aware of every glance and every gesture - their own as vital as their gymnasts'!

It takes self-leadership of the highest order to manage your emotions in elite sport at such events with all eyes also on you as coach!  This translates into any boardroom challenge, quality inspection visit or critical incident. So praise indeed to those leaders who prioritise leadership development that's personal alongside their professional and technical skills. I'll be watching Pegasus' coach Ionut Trandaburu, whatever the next few days brings!

Seeing yourself through the eyes of others

I was introduced to a really lovely, yet simple activity the other day. The question posed to the group when someone was asked to stand up towards the end of a training programme was:
'What word describes how you experience me?'
Each of us in turn helped to create a unique list for the individual in question.


Mine were:
Powerful                        Wise
Trustworthy                   Professional
Honest                          Appreciative
Confident                     Entertaining
Masterful                      High Standards

The art of this exercise is to help the individual actually take the feedback on-board, given that most of us have a very different personal opinion of ourselves.

I'm loving my list and don’t mind sharing it with you.
Why not try it within your team or with colleagues?

Because Leadership - it's Personal!

The small things you hear that show progress...

When you are in leadership development as I am, you don't always get to see learning put into action first-hand.

Let me paint you a picture. I was at a group review session earlier this week with a great bunch of people. One person in the room has also been receiving individual coaching. It's not so much the detailed conversation he was having with a colleague, but his remarks that shall we say, didn't exactly put them him in the best light as a leader.

I clocked this as I walked past, although didn't even look in his direction. I knew that several months ago he would have been completely unaware of this and carried on behaving in exactly the same way.

The magic for me, was in hearing him say to me as I moved by: "I can hear your eyes rolling you know!" which apart from being a wonderful phrase in itself, made me smile because I'd just witnessed how his awareness has shifted.

Small steps are often just as important.

What changes or shifts in behaviour have you experienced lately?


Discovering Your Leadership Blueprint: Your Reaction and Responses

As hard-wired as our principles and triggers may seem from the experiences that shape us, so too are our reactions and responses. Built over years from significant or repeat situations throughout our life, they show up day-to-day, in how others experience us at work and at home.


Knowing how we often react and respond to specific triggers, especially when we are under pressure or experiencing stress gives us a chance to catch this reflexive cycle, because such awareness gives us choice in the moment of how we respond.

If I'm on the receiving end of someone being ill-tempered, inflexible or maybe even both, I would typically expect to feel judged and may pull back from the situation and/or the person. You could say this is a self-preservation instinct kicking in, but you can imagine it’s far from helpful in a leadership setting when challenge and behaviours can get very personal and certainly heated at a moment's notice.  

Imagine if I metaphorically, or literally withdrew each time...

How could you identify your triggered responses in challenging situations when all eyes are on you as a leader?
What would you do?


Discovering Your Leadership Blueprint: Your Triggers


Alongside our life experiences, unique patterns and principles, we also each have triggers.

Our triggers are incidents or behaviours that provoke a reaction in us - and that reaction is quick and often feels instant. 
In being provoked, our reaction (the next part of our pattern) is not always helpful personally and certainly not as a leader. 
Hands up if you've ever thought: 'I wish I'd handled that differently'?

You may already know some of your triggers, while you may not be aware of others. Knowing them and working with them can be so powerful.

For me, 'choosing direction' or 'appraisal' can be a challenge, depending on the context.
If you take the latter in terms of feeling judged, as an example with social media and these blogs. What I post is all part of my brand and I think:  'What if no one reads or views what I put out there?'

On a good day, it's not a problem, I'm enjoying what I do. But if I was having a tough time, that could spark a feeling and response in me that is not helpful in my business or how I operate. Don't worry though, things are great and I'm simply sharing.

Do you know any of your triggers?

Discovering Your Leadership Blueprint: Our Principles

All of us have moments in our lives as children, teenagers, in our early careers or more recently, situations or experiences that were big and may have stopped us in our tracks. Or indeed the smaller things that happen time and again, having a compound effect.


Sometimes these things aren’t obvious to us, we just work around them and develop our own unique ways of managing and coping with certain reactions and trigger we have. It’s only when we stop, and really start to work with our own unique patterns, that make us who we are, to open up a whole new world of self-leadership with impact. 
By breaking down these patterns we are intrigued to take a closer look.

Our Principles:

  • They drive and inspire us
  • They help us to operate at our best
  • We will be drawn to them in others
  • We will aim to demonstrate them in how we operate
  • Some of them are obvious, others maybe not be until we explore them closer

Some of mine include imagination, inspiration and movement; affability, benevolence and those who take charge. All elements which hopefully shine through in how I operate, challenge and develop leaders, as well as the reasons I do what I do!

Can you identify what some of your principles might be?

Discovering Your Leadership Blueprint: Key Moments That Have Shaped Us.

 Reflecting on key moments that shape us

Reflecting on key moments that shape us

In my last blog, I asked you to think about good and bad leaders you've had in your life.
You will be highlighting the qualities you'd like to emulate and noting how not to be.
Does that give you ‘your’ blueprint?

Let me take you back even further, to the many and varied experiences you’ve had earlier in life. From family life and things that happened, to the stories that were told about you or to you. As kids we are like sponges, we don’t miss a trick, and then there’s school and our early careers.

For example, my careers teacher, when I said I wanted to work with people, literally laughed at me, saying: “Come back when you have something serious to talk about.” 
She said this to me because it wasn’t the conventional answer about a university!  But...despite this, I'm now running my own business and getting enjoyment every day from doing what I’m great at and very proud of...developing leaders.

Can you identify key moments or stories that might have shaped you in some way?

  • Experiences that spurred you on or have driven you
  • Situations which may have had a more profound effect on you than you realised
  • Do you remember when any of them happened, how you felt or reacted?