Being in a leadership role is challenging and comes with significant pressures and responsibilities. You’re constantly spinning plates – making important decisions, motivating your team, and dealing with external challenges like Covid-19 – while you try to do your job effectively to a high standard. Finance Director at Andy Johnson knows all about these challenges…

In this frank interview with us, Andy explains how having a performance coach has helped him learn to take responsibility, created positive team dynamics, and improved relationships with the important people in his life at work and at home.

Tell us a bit about your career before you met Matt.
I’ve worked in finance for a number of years, qualifying in practice as a Chartered Accountant before moving into a finance role in industry. I had always been ambitious and wanted to be the best at what I did, in sport, career, life. As I progressed through my career, I set myself the goal of becoming a Finance Director or CFO. For me, that represented being top of my game in the profession I qualified in.

What  did you want Matt’s help with?
I needed a mix. Mostly professional stuff around me and my team, but also home life and health too.

After a great initial chat with Matt I asked him to help me develop my relationship with my team. My problem was that though I was clear about my own goals, I sometimes couldn’t understand why colleagues didn’t share them, or behave in the same way as me.

This process was eye-opening and gave me meaningful insights into the things I’d simply taken for granted. Working with Matt, we developed tools and techniques I use to hold myself accountable for my actions, and to stop blaming others

I needed Matt’s help in developing self-awareness across my team too, to create trust and a collective understanding of each other. This led to better productivity and overall performance.

I also worked on developing stronger relationships with my friends and family. I’ve learnt I can’t be everything to everyone, and I’m more comfortable with how I choose to spend my time and with decisions I make. You could call this maturing, I guess!

Top things Matt’s helped you with

  1. Self-awareness. Thanks to Matt I’m much more conscious of how I’m feeling and behaving now. And I’m more honest with myself when I critique my own performance. This awareness helps me plan for important meetings, experiences, and environments, when I need to be at my best. 

    Like most people, I used to think I could perform well, even when under-prepared, or after a bad night’s sleep. But I’ve learned there are no shortcuts, and to be the inspiring leader I want to be, I have to look after myself, and prepare!

  2. Failing. Matt has taught me to be okay with failing; a big ask! We say FAIL stands for ‘First Attempt In Learning’. This change of mindset has been a huge turning point for me; I used to hate and fear failure. Now I overcome failings – I treat them as learning experiences for improvement. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still competitive and self-critical, but I’ve got coping mechanisms and react more constructively to failure now.
  3. Team dynamics. My role is to help create the right environment for others to be their best. Matt’s taught me to respect different perspectives, and to be inclusive and supportive. I love challenging my team to think differently, and we are more aligned to our collective goal of continuous improvement. It’s not about being perfect, but making consistent, marginal gains.
  4. Relationships. Coaching has massively improved my relationships with the really important people in my life. How I speak and behave with my children, my wife, parents and friends. I hold myself accountable for things I’m not doing, rather than blame them as I used to. And I have a toolkit I turn to which helps me compartmentalise and not feel too overwhelmed by stress. These new skills have helped us all as a family, especially when we have had to overcome big challenges together.

Getting the most out of a coach like Matt means being really honest about your challenges, and being open and vulnerable. How did you find this?
My team and I found trusting Matt easy. Matt helped create confidence between us all, and the sense we were all in the process together, in a safe environment. We felt empowered and really motivated.

What’s Matt like to work with?
Matt instills the belief that I can achieve what I want. He then holds me to account. Having a performance coach I am answerable to really motivates me to aim high and push myself. And Matt is so credible – he teaches me the science behind the tools and techniques I now use on a daily basis. To me, Matt is a coach, a mentor, and a trusted friend.

What would you say to someone considering Matt as a performance coach?Matt introduces you to a new way of thinking and skillsets that are not just for your career, but for life. Coaching has opened my mind to new ways of thinking, to a level I couldn’t have achieved going it alone. I’d say give it a try and see what you think!

And in summary?
Matt is an energetic, knowledgeable coach who brings a wealth of experience, tools and techniques to help you be the best version of yourself. He does this with an authenticity which makes it real and not just out of a textbook. The best investment I’ve made in myself for a long time!

Want a chat with Matt?
Take the next step to becoming a better and happier leader, and call Matt today for a chat, on 07527 802 686. Or if you prefer email him at