How do you measure a contribution? To me, IECL has never existed without Mandy Geddes. I first met Mandy at the door of the apartment in Bellevue Hill that was the makeshift office of the Australian Institute of Executive Coaching. Her hair was wilder in those days and she was doubling as a yoga teacher (a skill we still call upon). She made me a cup of tea and welcomed me to one room that served as a temporary office. Every day since then, I have looked forward to coming to work, and seeing Mandy. There are just some people whose presence makes you feel safe – happy – inspired – motivated…wanting to go the extra mile to reflect the light that shines from their beautiful soul.
Mandy and I have laughed together, cried together, and supported each other through the highs and lows of business vagaries, and of the challenges that life just throws at you. And there have been some considerable successes: getting our ICF ACTP credential in 2006; partnering with Charles Sturt University in 2014; opening IECL in HK, China, Singapore and NZ. Just as memorable is occasionally shopping at Armani in the Summer and Winter sales and our “strategy lunches” at Corto at least twice a week.
So I come back to my first point. How do you measure a contribution? It could be the 5,000+ global Alumni – many who have a personal connection with Mandy. It could be the team who have had the privilege of working with Mandy over the years, and describe her as “the best boss I ever had”. Or it could be simply knowing that a dear friend has your best interests at heart every day as you strive to build something special together.
In thinking of this, I reached out to two of my early partners in crime – John Matthews, our beloved Founder and legend, and Katie Smith, one of Mandy’s earliest Education Team members.
Unsurprisingly, they too have been touched by working with Mandy, with compliments overflowing. Here are their tributes:
“I first met Mandy at a Yoga retreat back in 1996. Mandy exuded a sense of calm back then that I didn’t realise I would learn to treasure over the years. Since then, our lives have been connected in weird and wonderful ways. Besides her calmness, she is the only person I know that was able to make sense, and adapt to the the chaotic operating rhythm of myself and my original partner in the early days of our business venture that would become IECL. There was the time I wasn’t sure of the directions to a client. Mandy calmly drove onto the shoulder of the exit ramp until I made up my mind. It’s been an inspiration to see Mandy grow professionally and personally over the more than 15 years I’ve known her. At our wedding, Lisa and I asked Mandy to read the Marianne Williamson quote that talks about how what we fear most is our greatness, and that we don’t serve the world by playing small. I didn’t realise then that Mandy’s life would become a living example of a person who does serve the world, embraces her greatness and by doing so, inspires myself and many others to do the same.”
– John Matthews
“There are a lot of reasons why people stay at organisations for many years, for me, it was the IECL family – in particular, having the wonderful Mandy as my Manager. From my first day at IECL as a wee young ‘un 20 year old, until my last day, almost seven years later, Mandy was an absolute pleasure to work with. Mandy was (and still is) an exceptional leader and mentor. While I was at IECL, Mandy was working, studying adult education, marking reflection papers, and volunteering as a BigSister – a true inspiration! Always cheerful, calm and approachable, I never saw Mandy ever lose her cool, even with the most demanding clients! Congratulations Mandy on your 15th year with IECL, and thank you for your advice and support!”
– Katie Smith
It’s an honour to call Mandy a colleague, and more importantly a friend. Here’s to the next 15 years and beyond, Mandy!
JULIE PARKINSON IS IECL’S DIRECTOR, ASIA. HER STYLE IS PRACTICAL, CHALLENGING AND WARM, AND AS AN INDIVIDUAL SHE IS ACTION AND RESULTS ORIENTED. JULIE ENSURES A HIGH LEVEL OF EXCELLENCE IN ALL AREAS OF DELIVERY FOR ASIA AND HER EXTENSIVE BUSINESS EXPERIENCE AND COMMITMENT TO COMMUNICATION EXCELLENCE ENABLE HER TO WORK WITH CLIENTS TO ACHIEVE THEIR OBJECTIVES WITH CLARITY AND ENERGY.