Virginia Walton-Executive Coach
Virginia Walton ‘s story surprised us. She has been one of those people that despite the difficulties and spending years of her life working in something that perhaps was not what she enjoyed the most, at some point, she came to realize how important it is to do what you are passionate about and make you happy, that taking risks is part of life and can bring you the best results.
We were fortunate enough to interview Virginia Walton and learn more about her. Read on to find out more.
1. We know that you worked for years in the banking and finance industry and found the love for personal growth there. Tell us in detail how this discovery was.
In 2010 I was in a middle management role when the president of our subsidiary decided that the leadership development process should be taken down to all of the managers at my level. It was a tough process that included 360 surveys, multi-day off-site working on our skills and individual coaching. When I met with my coach, he had read my survey results, asked for the cliff notes of my life and then responded, “That all makes sense and if you do not change. You are not going any further.” I was in my early 30s and at the lowest level of management. The thought of staying there another 30 years horrified me! I embraced the process, worked on my leadership style, and it made a difference. In 2014, I received the biggest promotion of my career and was made a Senior Vice President shortly after that promotion.
In my early 20s, I was part of a multi-layer home-based business, and our team motto was “Work on you and show the plan.” That moto played out in my corporate career. I worked on myself, my style, my attitude while always meeting my deliverables and deadlines. These two things were the key to my success.
I turned my hour-long commute into a self-study program of leadership and self-development books. I estimate I have over 2,500 hours of self-study. The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn.
2. In a world where the “normal” thing to do is to get a job in a company, how challenging was it for you to quit this and start your own business and become a coach.
I grew up poor. My father was the biggest deadbeat dad in the county when I finished my Bachelor’s degree at 19. Money was always a concern for me. There were times during my career I was working two jobs to make sure I was not living paycheck to paycheck. Having a six-figure income had seemed like an impossible goal until I achieved it!
Based on how I grew up I strived to live debt-free and well within my means. That mindset allowed me to take advantage of the opportunity for voluntary severance and quit my job at 44 years old. Fear over money and having enough was a major issue for me in my early 20s so the fact that I have gotten emotionally strong enough to follow this path is just another example of how my passion for self-development has paid off.
I have faith and a strong work ethic. These two traits made it easier to make the leap! I am driven to grow my business by the belief that I am helping others as service to others is a core value of mine.
3. After reading your testimonials, we noticed that within your methodology, you ask challenging questions that make the person who talks to you think about what led you to use this technique and why you believe it has worked so well?
I was trained by the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), which is accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Challenging questions are a core part of the program.
As a coach, my role is not to give the client the answers but to help him/her find the answers. We are all unique individuals so how to handle a situation or achieve a goal will vary from person to person.
If a coach gives the client an action plan, but the client is not bought in, success will not likely be achieved. A great coach helps the client find the action plan that feels best for him/her.
4. What does your program consist of?
My Four Cs to Combat Burn out consists of four pillars. These are
- Care (for self & others)
- Confines – setting boundaries first and foremost with oneself
All of those hours of self-study lead me to find that for the most part the principles are the same. Many of the different sources I read between books and articles over the year often suggest focusing on saying no to requests and blocking time on your calendar.
However, my experience in my career taught me that is not always a realistic approach. I would block time on my calendar only to have someone double book me! I would be given tasks that fell under peers but because I had a reputation for making deadlines and it was critical it be completed timely.
My program takes the techniques I have learned over the years and applies them in a way that aligns with today’s reality.
When I conducted market research on other burnout coaches I found many had backgrounds in roles that were in Human Resources or more academic roles. My fellow coaches were not experienced in running an operational function so they may not be able to related to the day to day demands of clients the way I can.
I have been there and I understand! That is why I am driven to help my clients overcome the feelings of exhausting and continue to excel without having to sacrifice any of the things they love.
Every fall I go for my annual physical. I would tell me doctor I’m run down. His response was to quit volunteering as a youth field hockey coach. While yes that would reduce the stress on my calendar and deadlines, it would also reduce my personal joy and take me out of alignment with my value of service.
So, I needed to find another answer. Now I want to help clients find the solution that is best for them.
5. Finally Virginia Walton, is there anything that you’d like to leave us off with?
I want to say thank you for the opportunity! Most days I am still amazed at the life I have.
I am not rich and famous, but I have a level of comfort not only financially, but internally that I did not think possible. Being in control of not only my calendar and my commitments has led me to an incredible level of calm and you can’t put a value on that!
I believe that to whom much is given much is expected so I am driven to help others have a life they never believed possible. I run my business and my life from a place of service and I hope this opportunity helps others know I am here for them.
Special thanks to Virginia Walton for being part of this excellent interview.