After 12 years in the pharmaceutical industry, Amantha King realised her passion for work had gone: she needed a change. Now the Founder of her own coaching business, Amantha talks to the Industry Leaders about why getting clear on your purpose is vital and how actions speak louder than words.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
About six months into my maternity leave, I realised I'd lost my professional passion. After 12 years in the same industry, I became bored and frustrated, which made me less ambitious. I was curious about what else I had to offer, could I transfer my skill set?
I knew I had some key values around my new responsibilities, and it felt right to create a role for myself, which meant I could have the lifestyle and career that I wanted. I decided to start my business using the strengths that helped me create a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry.
What kind of work does your role involve?
My work involves working with clients individually to improve their performance and career prospects through strengths profiling, confidence tracking and coaching insights. Together these elements enable them to enhance their opportunities to succeed and progress. Focussing on strengths means the results are more natural, energising, motivating and transformative than working on weaknesses. Using Neuroscience and powerful NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) techniques, coupled with a genuine passion for wellbeing, means that each session is personalised and impactful beyond the coaching sessions. Transforming multiple aspects of a person's life for the better is hugely rewarding, and I am fulfilling my purpose too.
What gets you excited about your industry?
Neuroscience and Psychology are fast being incorporated into coaching so that it is much more insightful for clients. Working in ways that show the client how their brain works and why they behave the way they do is so helpful. Neuroscience application in this way is fast maturing into a recognised way of working to achieve transformations. When we know why we adopt certain behaviours, we can accentuate opportunities and possibilities while also being aware of risks to our performance. This is an area to watch as it factors in the stress-points for clients too.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
The best advice was to get clear on my purpose and vision and to imagine it in technicolour with surround sound on. To focus every day on it. Live it, breathe it, own it! It was a message that came from many respected sources.
I was careful about where to seek advice and chose those who knew my values and supported me. I first discovered my values in my early 30's, and they have guided me towards my purpose ever since. Knowing your purpose is vital and bringing it to life is so important in achieving personal success.
What, or who inspires you?
I meet people every day who inspire me. In my roles as a coach and Mental Health First Aider, I am always amazed at the resilience and vulnerability of the human form and the capacity to evoke change for the better. I take inspiration from people who find their inner courage and who speak their truth. These include Anne Frank, The Obama's, and David Attenborough.
Right now, science and medicine inspire me too - the race to develop vaccines to tackle COVID-19 has been amazing, and that's down to the scientists and medics who have successfully produced vaccines. It's so inspiring!
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in the industry?
I am a prolific reader and researcher which comes from my days as a biology student. I have three books by my desk at any time. I really enjoy learning new information and find places like the internet are a great way of keeping current now that many journals and articles are online. I also network avidly in online groups because it's a great way to pick up new insights during conversations with people who share my passion for the coaching industry. I am currently completing a menopause coaching qualification which I will be able to offer to my clients.
What was the most challenging project or assignment you've worked on?
Realising the internal conflict between my old career-self and my future-self was powerful. It made me use my self-belief to cultivate courage and determination to commit to creating a successful business, which after 10 years, I am still so passionate and excited about. Realising that my skills were transferrable was transformative for me, and it was the starting point for everything else that's followed. If you believe you can, you will. Learn about who you are, do the self-discovery work, get insights on your behaviours and values, and be bold, brave, and ambitious.
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
NO, NO, NO!! I'm joking.
I would have sleepless nights if I did that. I would hand the money in. Who knows how the owner might respond? Whatever happens, I subscribe to the principle that values are at the route of all behaviour - honesty and integrity are values that are super important to me. So, NO! I'm not keeping it, I'm handing it in. I once got overpaid by a large organisation, it was and is non-negotiable - pay it back.
Your values and behaviour say more about you than any words.
How do you switch off after a day at work?
I've got into meditating in 2020, and I love the clarity I feel as a result of it. It's a really peaceful activity and helps me make sense of the most frenetic days. However, the ultimate switch-off is family time. We are very connected family, and we share a love of food and travel. The best times are when we do both. During 2020 we spent a lot of time watching movies and cooking new recipes which is heaven. After work on a Friday, my favourite treats are a glass of prosecco and a small bowl of Bombay mix.
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
I would like businesses and organisations to put a greater emphasis on their recruitment processes so that they really know the people they are bringing into their organisations.
I'd also like to see a greater diversity of skill sets and more variety in development programmes to enable employees to perform at their best, whatever their position. By developing an individual's strengths, performance is enhanced, and mental wellbeing issues are dramatically reduced because they feel motivated and productive. I'd like to see this become the norm in businesses when recruiting and resourcing, plus diversity and inclusion at all levels.
What book or podcast should everyone know about?
So many to choose from!
Atomic Habits - James clear (Get brilliant at achieving your goals)
Sleep - Nick Littlehales (There is a science to sleep and how it can help your performance)
Becoming - Michelle Obama (I loved every chapter of this book - it's a story for our time)
Outliers - Malcolm Gladwell (taking an outlier and polishing their performance is great for your business)
Paul Mckenna -Positivity Podcast
Hidden Brain Podcast
The Strengths Guy - Paul Brewerton
How should people connect with you?
You can connect or get in touch with me on any of the following: