Frustrated and hampered by a poor relationship with a former employer, Rhys Hefford is now enjoying the rewards of his own successful IT consultancy – with improved management skills to boot!


Channel 3 Consulting, Bagshot House, High Street, Bagshot, Surrey, GU19 5AF

£1 million

Founded in 2009, Channel 3 Consulting is an IT consultancy specialising in providing technical support and advice to NHS Trusts across the UK. Managing Director Rhys Hefford formerly worked at a general IT consultancy, based in Middlesex. He has 10 years’ experience as an IT consultant.

Having worked at his last company for seven years, and being largely responsible for building a team from 5 staff to 54 and with an annual turnover of £17m, Rhys felt frustrated and hampered by a difficult relationship with a primarily-absent boss. He wanted to take control of the situation, enabling him to make progress on both a personal and business level.
Equally, Rhys would occasionally struggle with people management issues, with people sometimes finding his quick reactions intimidating. He was upset at his occasional lack of poise when staff problems arose.

Rhys has been working with Adrian since 2006, with sessions roughly every month, seeking guidance on the above issues, as well as his work-life balance.

During this time, Rhys has left his old employer and set up his own thriving specialist IT consultancy.

Rhys says: “When I first started coaching with Adrian, I was effectively running an IT consultancy, as a sales director of a company owned by someone else. The relationship I had with the boss was very up and down.

“I wanted to take control of everything without having to argue or upset anyone. In a lot of ways, I felt that my hands were tied. I had to find the best way to get myself more control and Adrian definitely helped me to achieve that. I gained promotion to Managing Director but I still felt held back in my plans to grow the company.

“I needed to find better ways of getting what I wanted from the situation. Adrian helped me to identify the fact that my boss’s values were very different to my own. Rather than being angry and frustrated, I wanted to be able to get my own point of view across.

“On a slightly different subject, I did not always manage people in the best way. I was maybe not always as approachable as I might have been. If staff members annoyed me, I wasn’t very good at hiding it. I also worked with Adrian to improve that.”

“The immediate effect of Adrian’s early coaching sessions was that the frustrations surrounding my old employer could no longer get to me as they once did.

“Less expected was that Adrian made me realise I was focusing on work too much. He has helped me – even within the working day itself – to make time for other things and to draw a clear distinction between work and play.

“I am now at the beginning of a new and exciting business journey, and Adrian has been instrumental in the process which has brought me here. I now have a much clearer understanding of what I want and how I can achieve it.

“In terms of people management, Adrian has trained my way of thinking to recognise that my immediate reaction is not always the right one. This is something I am now much more conscious of and I refrain from acting there and then. If there is an issue, I will think about if for a few moments and then take the conversation to a more private space to resolve it.

“Adrian is an excellent sounding board. In my old job, I was responsible for the overall strategy of the company and there was no one really for me to talk to. It didn’t matter that Adrian isn’t an IT consultant – it was his professional approach that made the difference.

“He takes his responsibility very seriously and is genuinely engrossed in what you tell him. He is absolutely trustworthy and builds that trust very quickly. Regardless of what is said, I know he will keep it to himself – a vital component of any coach-client relationship.

“Most importantly, he is a good questioner and makes you think about things. One thing’s for sure – he isn’t afraid to challenge you!”