We had the good fortune of connecting with Lyann Farrelly and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lyann, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My business is called Thursday’s Child Coaching and Consulting, not because of the Bowie song as some might assume but because of an old nursery rhyme my Mum would tell me. The nursery rhyme lists a ‘prediction’ for a child depending on what day they are born and the ‘Thursday’s Child has far to go’. My mum would say that she knew I would ‘go far’ and subjectively I did, being the first to go to university in a generation, working for big brand names like PwC and WarnerBros and geographically as I moved from rural Wales to London and then to LA.
When starting my business I wanted to be that beacon of belief that my Mum was for me. I believe everyone has the potential to ‘go far’, that we can all be and should feel confident and capable as leaders, essentially: we are all Thursday’s Children.
My mission is to make leadership accessible to all and I believe that who you are as a leader is important, and who you are is unique to you, your experiences, your education, your ability to learn and to communicate? I work with individuals to try and uncover who is the leader they want to be, who are they right now and work to bridge that gap. Of course, this may be influenced by the culture and climate of the organisation they are leading in.
For organisations this can be challenging and at Thursdays Child we can also help leadership teams and organisations get clearer and more able to articulate what their leadership expectations are, and whether they are developing the leadership capability of the future or are stuck leading in a way that is no longer effective or desirable to talent they want to retain or attract.
Whether leveraging organisation consulting, leadership team coaching or executive coaching, Thursdays Child was created with the intention of helping individuals and organisation reach their potential and of course ‘go far’
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I didn’t set out to achieve half of the things that I have my future was not mapped out and I feel that I have winged it for most of my career. Taking opportunities as they emerged and discovering parts of myself and strengths that I have as I went along but I soon realised that this will only get you so far and it was time to take more ownership of who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do.
I studied politics and international relations at university and yet I found that I was fascintaed by human behaviour, why do people say and do the things that they do. I took a role in HR straight from school and discovered that there was a whole industry of organisation psychology and how behavious at work impacted the way professionals learnt, interacted, communicated and progressed. I loved the feeling of helping individuals understand themselves and start to see why they did the things they did, how that was helping them or holding them back. It was also fascintaing to me how very smart and capable people worked together in leadership teams and the challenges they faced and the impact this had on the success of the organisation. I studied on the job and achieved various certifications and accreditations whilst emersed in the reality of working in a professional environment.
I soon became a leader myself and at the same time was a wife and mum to two boys. I struggled with my identity as a leader and my credibility. I underestimated and overestimated my influence and capability and my confidence fluctuated, depsite being thought of as ‘Top Talent’ in most organisations I have worked for instead of motivating me it put me on paths to success which were not defined by me but by the organisations I worked for – striving to acheive promotions, scope and areas of responsibility that I thought I wanted but in reality I didn’t – I share this addage with my clients – just becasue you are good at something doesn’t mean you enjoy it or want to do it!
It was in the US that this became so clear to me I had failed to achieve a couple of promotions but was still well regarded in the organisation and couldn’t understand why I felt so displaced. I realised that the role I was in, although effectively a ‘promotion’ was not what I WANTED to do, I had become removed from that insight and closeness to individuals and teams where could work with people to unlock their potential, my team were doing work I was envious of. This felt like a failiure it felt like I was admitting I was not cut out to be a leader (it still does in my darkest moments) but what I have come to realise is that many of us are striving toward goals and a definition of success that is not our own.
So I am defining success for myself and striving toward the goals that I have set. I am earning less money, but working less hours. I am working with people and organisations I admire and respect not forced to implement programes that I don’t believe in or support and I work ‘with’ people not for people and people don’t work ‘for’ me. Its not perfect and I am learning every day but I am much, much happier and I feel I am exactly where I am meant to be.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One of my favourite places to go in LA was the Rockwell Table and Stage in Los Feliz a great night of entertainment and food was also amazing. Another place I loved was Paradise Cove in Malibu, to eat and drink on the beach and take in the beauty of PCH – like something out of a movie. From sand to snow – Big Bear resort was incredible for our family ski trip every year (sometimes even more than once) – how incredible to have snow and sand it such close proximity and something I miss about LA.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I could not run my business without my husband, whether its taking more than his share of the load at home and with the kids or advising me on my social media he is a rock for me!