E24 The Unlock Moment: Dolly Waddell – Change The Rules

Gary Crotaz 0:02
My name’s Dr. Gary Crotaz. And I’m a coach and author of The IDEA Mindset, a book about how to figure out what you want, and how to get it. The Unlock Moment is that flash of remarkable clarity, when you suddenly know the right path ahead. When I’m in conversation with my coaching clients, these are the breakthroughs that are so profound that they remember vividly where they were, who they were with, what they were thinking when their Unlock Moment happened. In this podcast, I’ll be meeting and learning about people who have accomplished great things, or brought about significant change in their life, and you’ll be meeting them with me. We’ll be finding out what inspired them, how they got through the hard times, and what they learned along the way that they can share with you. Thank you for joining me on this podcast to hear all about another Unlock Moment. Hello dear listener, and welcome to another episode of The Unlock Moment podcast. Today I am delighted to welcome Dolly Waddell to the podcast. Dolly is a coach and facilitator whose upbringing in the orbit of a highly-successful family business honed her natural instinct for entrepreneurship. She and I trained together in executive coaching at Henley Business School, and have remained firm friends ever since. Dolly has an energy and a spirit about her that is totally infectious. You’re about to see what I mean! And I’ve been keen to get her on the podcast for a while. In her work, she unlocks and activates a high-performance culture, searching out those lightning-bolt moments that create clarity and highly-engaged teams. I’m fascinated to learn more about the journey she’s been on that has shaped her unique outlook on life and the lessons she learned along the way. Strap yourselves in and let’s get into the conversation! Dolly, it is my great pleasure to welcome you to The Unlock Moment!

Dolly Waddell 1:53
Thanks, Gary. Hi everyone, very excited to be here.

Gary Crotaz 1:57
So Dolly, tell us a little bit about your upbringing and the journey you went on through to the point that you started to think about coaching as a career.

Dolly Waddell 2:05
So I was born in the North West and I went to boarding school at 8. I quite like popping that in because it was the days of cold baths and the cane. I just made it by a few years. So I’ve got some sort of hardcore stories to share on that. But then, so I was brought up in this, my, my dad runs a successful family business, luxury jewellery. And I’m the sixth generation. So it’s just always been the river I’ve swam in, seeing business, entrepreneurship. And as a family business, it’s been so integrated, it’s just what we talked about at the kitchen table. And, and then when I left school, I did a degree in linguistics, English Language and Linguistics, and went and worked in film production for four or five years. And then, yeah, and then lots of different bits and bobs have happened along my career along the way. Culminating three years ago in me realising it was all coming to a head in the fact that I, not dissimilar to you Gary, I want to help people live their best selves. And where I see most people collectively is in a corporate space. So I want to go into those spaces to help unlock or have lightning bolt moments for them like I’ve had for my own life.

Gary Crotaz 3:25
And when you think back to when you were growing up, is it part of your earliest memories being in this family with the business or you know, how old were you when that first came on your radar?

Dolly Waddell 3:37
So my dad used to do jewellery shows all over the country. And he used to go to Jersey and Guernsey, small islands called the Channel Islands in England. And he’d take me with him. And I remember thinking, This is the life! Because I’d be in a hotel room allowed to have room service aged seven, whilst he was doing a big jewellery show downstairs. And then I could go downstairs, try on all the jewellery, all these people from Jersey and Guernsey were going, Oh isn’t she adorable? As I was sort of marching around like a spoiled little brat with all this gorgeous jewellery on me with ice cream in my belly. And I thought Yeah, this is fun, and knowing all the people that worked for him over the years and you know, you sort of feel quite special going into a, into an established business store and everyone going, Oh hi Dolly, and you’re only 8, 9, 10, 12, 14. For better or worse, you feel like you’ve arrived!

Gary Crotaz 4:36
You know, as you know, I do quite a lot of work with the next generation of families and family businesses. And it’s interesting, for some of them, you know, the children grow up thinking at some point I want to be part of this business, I want to maybe lead this business, I see that it’s part of my destiny to one day lead this business, and others feel, it’s amazing growing up in this environment and observing and learning. But I feel strongly that I want to forge my own path that is different from the family business. Remember when you were working through, did you sort of face into that fork in the road at some point?

Dolly Waddell 5:14
It’s a great question. Do you know I think I was somewhere, I was in a slightly different lane. I don’t think I ever thought, Oh, I’ll work here. And I never thought, Oh I want it to be my own thing, I want to find my own way. I think I just, weirdly looking back, I think being a girl, I’m from a very traditional family, where the women don’t really work. And so I think that was probably just subconsciously, there is my future is to get married and have kids and do that. So I didn’t ever hop in the lane of, Oh what do I want to be? What do I want to do? And then, but then equally on the flip side, I went to a very successful school, I went to a really established school in England. And actually, it’s a real pity I look back because I didn’t ever have any kind of nurturing towards Who am I? What do I want to do? Where am I going to go? But hey ho, let’s just pump you with an amazing education. Where do you want to go to uni, just get it in the bag, go to uni. But actually, it was very rudderless, my upbringing in terms of where I was going, and it’s a point now where I seem as an adult, that played out, probably took me till I was in my mid to late 30s to really drill in and go, Heck, where am I going? Do I want to work for the family business? Do I want to forge my own way? And I asked those questions later on, rather than as a young girl.

Gary Crotaz 6:45
I know, in my, in my own experience, I always look back and think I’m amazed at it. It was in my late 20s, when I suddenly went, Do I really want to be a doctor? which was the thing I was training in at the time, and I look back and I think, why didn’t I think that 19, 20, 21, but I just didn’t, I just didn’t. And then I had this sort of wake-up moment of going, I don’t have to be on this conventional path that I was on.

Dolly Waddell 7:13
What’s tricky with that, Gary, sorry to interrupt, but just it’s so tricky to know, whether it’s an age thing, or whether it’s an opportunity, or nurtured thing. You know, my dad has a motto, he says, it’s, it’s what you’re like when you’re 30 that counts. So when everyone’s growing up, you know, I’ve got four kids, and when you’re saying, Oh, I hope they’re going to be alright. And all they’re not very good at the piano and all their friends are, or whatever it is. My dad is brilliant. He always goes, Doesn’t matter. It matters what they’re like when they’re 30. You don’t want to peak too soon.

Gary Crotaz 7:44
I love it. So, so you left university and you talked about you got married and you had children? And what did that path look like as you started off in your career?

Dolly Waddell 7:59
Well… When I was 23, I was working in film production as something called a production coordinator. And, and it was fast-paced. It was exciting. I was doing really well in it and advancing in a career. You know, I worked for Working Title, I worked for BBC, like, you know, it was really thrilling. And I was doing well. But then I actually had an experience which was a faith experience. I became a Christian very suddenly, unexpectedly, I wasn’t looking for it. And it really did start to sort of change my vision of what I wanted my future to be. And I think then at 23, it could be considered an Unlock Moment. Because I did have the courage suddenly to go, Ooh, hang on. Who am I? Where am I going? I want to be intentional with life. And with film, I’ve just fallen into it. Do I really want this? So having faith as part of my life’s equation, I then steered a slightly different route. And thought actually I want to work with teenagers and help them and I guess that’s where the coaching piece started.

Gary Crotaz 9:12
What triggered that for you at 23?

Dolly Waddell 9:14
I think looking at how I had wasted a lot of years as a teenager being lost. I’ve made some really bad choices and gotten in some real tricky situations from a lack of mentorship, and yet I’ve been at this fantastic school. You’d think I’d have, I would have nailed it. My teenage and early 20s life but I hadn’t I’d made really bad choices. So I think there was a part of me that wanted to go and sort of almost restore those years. So, and I love youth, I love teenagers. I mean my husband teases me whenever I’m with young people, they’re like Dolly, Dolly, Dolly! There’s something that, I just, I really connect with them and they like me, so it felt like a natural fit. So I started going to schools as a youth worker, as a speaker on things about faith and, and choices and life that happened to you as a teenager. So that’s, that sort of was that beginning of coaching in that context. And then I met my husband, who, also a man of Christian faith, was actually training to be a vicar. And here we got married, and I was like, Oh, my goodness. Now I’m a vicar’s wife. If you’re American it’s a pastor’s wife. And in England, like all the stereotypes of that, that, God bless you if this is your name, sorry, but it’s like you’re all called Joan. And you all grow marrows. And you love tea, and you’re very quiet and you wear frilly skirts. Like that’s the kind of, and I’m six foot guys, and I was wearing a tutu when I met my husband and had pink hair. And, you know, worked in film, and very vibrant, can’t stop moving my body because I’m such an extrovert, expressive, etc. So that already was, Ooh, how’s that gonna work? Yeah.

Gary Crotaz 11:08
And did you continue to be pink hair tutu vicar’s wife?

Dolly Waddell 11:12
Do you know, I think, well, I don’t think being a vicar’s wife channelled it out. But I think I did just get a little bit older. And there’s quite a lot of maintenance, all that. And you start having kids, you haven’t got time to dye your hair. But no, I think I just outgrew that. But I did always feel very authentic in my faith being me. So that’s, I never felt like a religious pressure to suddenly be, look the part. However, I think that the journey I went on, being married to a vicar and then having four children, there’s, there’s so many oughts and shoulds that crop up as they do in every sphere, and that there are just so many oughts and shoulds that slowly cracked away at me. And I think I actually did lose myself quite catastrophically over 12, 15 years in that role, which led me to my, you know, essentially a very big Unlock Moment, or a lightning bolt moment in my language.

Gary Crotaz 12:29
And it’s quite all-encompassing the work you were doing. I mean, when when I think of, when I imagine vicar’s wife, you know, and thinking, you know, pretty skirt and Sunday tea, so I’m thinking, the sort of quiet country churchyard in the little English village and so on. But you weren’t always working in a sort of rural environment as a vicar’s wife, you were in some quite tough environments?

Dolly Waddell 12:55
We definitely have done the rural thing, and where there’s lots of tea. And actually, there is the expectation to listen a lot. And what a privilege because you know, just the fact that my husband wears a dog collar means that it is a huge privilege, and one I’ve never taken for granted that people will just feel safe with you immediately. The wall of self-preservation is just down, and they come straight in. And I, whether it was a rural, quiet, typical setting that you might imagine, or we lived in East London and Leyton for five years. And there, I mean, it was so multicultural that there are 260 different languages and dialects spoken between where I lived and two tube stops away. It was so diverse and I’m white, and blonde, and my husband is as well and our children. We’ve got four white, blond children, people call us the blonde army. And you know, we just were the only all-white family in Leyton it felt like it, just so rich and so diverse. So whether I was there, or in a sleepy rural county, with everyone being white, what’s really interesting, Gary, is that people are people and I think that’s what I’ve learned, it’s just the story is different. And the narrative is different. But being a vicar’s wife is a role where people, regardless of your background, they just feel they can trust you, a bit like a doctor. And so I was, have been in thousands I would say of conversations that are really deep, really complex, really nuanced, really traumatic. I probably needed a psychology degree to have done it all really well. I’ve needed a counselling degree. I’ve needed, and I don’t have all these degrees by the way, in fact, the amount of, Wow we’re going in deep straightaway, and I, so I’ve learned so much in that about people, how they’re wired, what relationships mean, because none of us live in isolation, we’re all part of a network of something bigger. And so learning all that, seeing all that, however, it was really draining. Because if people are talking to you, they’re talking to a role, rather than talking to Dolly, who actually is very expressive and has got loads of ideas of her own. But all of that had to be very dormant, whilst really caring about the people in front of me. And then throw in just a small detail that I have four humans that wake up in the night, that want mummy, that get ear infections, that need me to read their books with them, which of course I want to do. But it’s, when you’re playing a role, a vicar’s wife role in a community, you don’t have many friends around, because you move to an environment, and you have to do everything in that and you, that is your new environment, you don’t have friends, there, you are a role immediately. So just trying to do the normal human stuff when you are representing a role, I found that quite difficult.

Gary Crotaz 16:20
And it’s so interesting hearing you describe that role, and having to play within the constraints of a role when you’re saying vicar’s wife, I’m also thinking, like, First Lady, or First Gentleman one day, we’ll have the First Gentleman, you know. So you’re at this point where there’s convention, there’s expectations, there’s, in some ways, constraints, but also opportunity and learning and all those things you describe. So bring me into this moment where you had this lightning bolt, this Unlock Moment of clarity as to what was going to happen next.

Dolly Waddell 16:58
To build up the what I was feeling prior to it, as opposed to just bumbling along and it happened, I was increasingly frustrated, but I didn’t know it was frustration. I was increasingly wanting to have more control of situations without being able to have it. So my husband would work. With a vicar you, it’s almost expected that you get, if they’re married, you get two for the price of one. So the vicar is the, it can be men or women, but in our instance, obviously, my husband is the man, he’s the vicar, you get him, but you get his wife for free. But there’s no set role. So it’s just a filler role, very much a filler role. And then as a mother, the role of mother – totally different to the relationships I have with my children, love that, that’s great. But the role of mother is quite fill-in as well. You just fill in the needs of others all the time, and cover the kind of domesticity, you know the food, making sure everything’s filled in. And I felt about four years ago, I was getting ill a lot physically, it was just this and that and this and that. Nothing ever really bad. But I think it was my body’s way of saying, Life ain’t working. You know, this just isn’t working out. I was getting, I would cry a lot. I got a bit of anxiety. I was like, what’s this about? Why do I get anxious? Because I’m very confident and it doesn’t feel congruent? I mean, does anxiety ever feel congruent to any of us? I don’t think so. So there were all these little symptoms. And I think I ended up getting really cross with my husband, because I felt that it was his job to open up my life, so to speak, you know, we’re working together. And yet all I ever felt really was like work experience. So I was getting cross with him. So it’s putting strain on our marriage. So with all of that going on, there was this day when I went on a retreat to Bath, a city in England. I don’t want to confuse you with thinking I’m in the bath, Gary and I had a misunderstanding on that a second ago. But yeah, so I was in a city called Bath. And when I went there, I went, I didn’t know why I was going, I just thought I’ll have two days away from the children, away from life, to just reflect, bring my faith into it. What am I doing with my life? And when I was there, I got a text from a friend from church saying, Dolly, I can’t wait to see you tonight at the training. And I texted back going, What training are you talking about? This is a friend from church. She said, Ooh, the training that you and Jim are doing – my husband’s Jim – you and Jim are doing at your house for us all. Something to do with church. And I thought I have no idea what she’s talking about. So I phoned my husband and said, What training are we doing tonight, babe? And he went, Oh, yeah, we’re doing a training for small groups, something like that. But I knew you’re away, so I didn’t tell you about it. But I said, But my name was on the email, right? And he said, Oh, yeah, I just forgot to take it off, you know, because it is us. And I left the phone call going, That summarises for me the problem. You get two for the price of one, but I feel like work experience, I don’t actually have a big enough place at the table to bring who I am. And yet, it’s so foggy being a vicar’s wife because my name was sort of on it, but it’s not. And I remember being so angry and so upset about that. It may sound trivial, but it was this, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back of feeling like two for the price of one and not having my value. And I remember crying. And if you let if you get this, you’re gonna love it. If you don’t get this, you’re gonna think, Oh my gosh, this lady’s mad. But I was crying looking in the mirror as I was crying. And as I was crying, Gary, I just, I got really into it. I remember thinking, I’m gonna have a jolly good cry now. And as I was staring at myself, and I was grieving at the woman I saw in front of me. And it was this feedback loop of emotionally feeling myself, feeling for myself, but seeing what I felt. And there was this, yeah, back and forth emotion with the woman I saw, with the woman I feel, and how disappointed and angry and fed up I was that I’ve been essentially allowing myself to be nothing more than work experience for 15 years. And yet, I know that I could run a church of my own, I know that I could run a business. I love building and I realised I wasn’t building. I was being passive. And I was waiting for my husband to give me permission to get on with my life. I was waiting for God to give me permission. You know, I have this thing now where I realised for me something that’s come out of my moment in this was, Wow, I think my husband, I think God, I think my dad, I think other people were a genie in a bottle, that if I just want it enough and hope for it enough and rub the lamp, they’ll come out and just go Ta dah! Dolly, we see you. You’re amazing. Come and run this, come and do this. And that was the big Unlock Moment. I realised no one else was going to do it. No one else was going to give me permission to be me. And, and then, what if it is me, I don’t even know. So I came back from Bath, having had this jolly big cry. And this realisation of no one’s gonna do it for me. And that was a really big paradigm shift that, Wow, my husband is not going to unlock my life. God isn’t, my dad isn’t, my friends aren’t. I have to. And it was, it was terrifying but exciting to think I quit waiting. I quit waiting for the life I want to happen. I’m going to start making a change.

Gary Crotaz 23:17
A quick one for you. I’m getting a lot of feedback from listeners to say they’d like to know more about my own philosophy on how to achieve an Unlock Moment in your life or career. Go and buy a copy of my book, The IDEA Mindset to discover your identity and direction for a future with engagement and authenticity. In it you’ll discover more about my own story, my learnings on how to achieve clarity and change. And of course, lots of interesting self-study exercises in bite-sized modules. You can get The IDEA Mindset in physical book, ebook and audiobook formats from all the usual sources. Thanks for listening and back to the conversation. And when you had that realisation, what emotions were you feeling at that point?

Dolly Waddell 24:02
I think I felt a few different things. I felt relief that I’d finally said it just. A bit probably I could, never been an alcoholic but that, that moment when you say, Hi my name is Dolly and I’m an alcoholic, for example, the relief that just owning it is like Hi, I’m Dolly and I’ve been a victim to my own life. I finally called it, so there was great relief in the awareness piece. I think I felt really relieved when I went home and told my husband. I said, here’s the thing, I’m now changing the rules of how I do my life. And, and that was scary and sad. Scary because I didn’t know what the new rules looked like. And sad because it was letting go of a kind of an ideal and the ideal for us was, Oh let’s do church leadership together, and I realised that I just couldn’t be in that game the way it had existed anymore. So that was, there was a grievance in that.

Gary Crotaz 25:12
You used a really powerful word there. I’ve been a victim of my own life. Unpack what victim means to you.

Dolly Waddell 25:21
I think victim, probably… I’ve been really passive, without realising, which is actually terrifying, because you wouldn’t look at me ever, you know, and think, Oh, she’s a passive lady. Because I’m not. I’m, I’ve always been like having a kid, I’m like, let’s do this. Like, I’m a really on it mum, I get really stuck into stuff, I’ve never been a kind of just, oh I’ll just fizzle out into the background. It’s, it hid very well, being passive. But being passive, say, feeling like a victim to other people meant I could hide behind that and not actually face my ow, my own demons, of the fact that I was just letting life happen to me. And, and being a victim to… you know instead I just thought, Oh, I’m a victim. It’s not my fault. It’s God’s fault. It’s my husband’s fault. It’s their fault. They need to call me up, they need to make my life happen. So I’m a victim. But actually, I was just a victim to my own demons. And my own passivity. But it was subtle, it was so subtle.

Gary Crotaz 26:29
It’s really interesting. And then you said, I need to change the rules.

Dolly Waddell 26:34
I’m really excited about what change the rules means. Because you can have an aha moment, you can have an Unlock Moment, a lightning bolt moment, like I did in Bath. And, and go, I can’t keep living the way I am. But going back with just a kind of fresh sentence of, Hey, I don’t want to do this anymore. I’ve got a new, you know, I’ve got, I’ve got something inside that needs to come alive. That’s great. But it’s, if we’re not careful. And this is what I see a lot. In in lives, really from what I’ve been coaching with all these nuanced things. I see people with great intentions verbally. But then the culture around them doesn’t enable that language to become a reality. There’s a chasm between the current reality you live in, and the language and the insights you’ve now got. And, and I realised that in order to make my new reality, my new realisations and insights a reality, I had to change the culture around me, so that it could lift me into that space. So to unpack that, I’ve got four kids, they don’t wake up and go, Oh, my mum has totally had a Unlock Moment. Let’s all help her. Like, no way, they wake up and have the same needs the same wants. Where’s Mum, is she coming to pick me up? You know, they’re just cracking on with the reality they know, right? I’ve got a husband who I’ve just come back and gone. Hey, babe, I don’t want to work in church anymore. Please can you not have my name on your emails? I’ve got a whole new thing going. He’s like, Say what, okay, sure. Babe, on Wednesday, can you come and do this thing with me? You know, life carries on. And you’ve got your family who know that, you know, my dad is such a great fan of the fact that I work in church, it’s a noble thing to say your daughter does, you know, and he’s totally genuine with it. But you know, Jim and Dolly run churches. So you’ve got all of this reality around you, and all of these oughts and shoulds that will keep you locked into the old reality. So to change it, you’ve got to change the rules. It’s like, you’ve been playing football for years, and you suddenly want to learn rugby, that is a different rulebook. And you’ve got to have, take that time to learn what the new rules are, you’ll never be good at rugby. And, and it’s sad, because you might be much better at rugby than you were at football. But you’ve got to go through that transition. So what I did was, I put things in place to enable the culture around me to change so that I could grow into this new self. Things like, I said to my husband, some new rules, literally, I said, you can no longer have my name on any email, unless you ask. And it wasn’t as sort of nanananana like, So there, it was a, Hey, I love you so much. I’m really for you. I’m really for your work and really for church. And because of that, I want to give my best to church and to the people we work with. And I know that my best isn’t the way it has been. So from now on, you don’t get to put my name on emails, unless you ask. You can’t ever assume that I’ll be at an event without intentionally asking me and I will check my diary and check where I’m at, to decide if I’m going to bring that and I think just having a few rules like that with him made me and him realise. You just bring it into the focus of, I know my worth. I know I’m really brilliant. Not in an arrogant way but I want to bring that because I know that will bring the change that you want, that God wants, that the church needs, but we have to have a value system for it. So this is, I was changing the rules to put that system in place.

Gary Crotaz 30:11
I hear in that something about taking control.

Dolly Waddell 30:15
Yeah, well, but control can be quite a dirty word. Because it can, it can sound like, Oh control freak. So controlling, especially women and control, I’ve always been a bit scared of the word control. And, and I think it’s the word I’ve rather used is agency. And it’s, and it’s sort of taking the wheel more, rather than sitting in the backseat. And, and having more intention in life rather than being accidental, especially in church cultures, because control is like, only God has control, lay down all control. That’s why it’s got that dirty connotation in the networks I’ve been in. So I was very mindful of saying, I want more agency. I want to be intentional, not accidental with… but it’s exactly that Gary, yeah, it is, boiled down, it is having that sense of self at the wheel.

Gary Crotaz 31:10
I mean, it’s fascinating, that I can hear all of these constraints and walls, I mean, you know, just like that the, you know, a word that is just a word, like control, for you has really pretty strong connotations for a whole variety of reasons. And lots of people are like that, that’s like, something that can be helpful for them. You know, you found a way of identifying a word that works for you, to help you to get to where you need to get to. But for a lot of people, you know, the route forward is blocked by convention in society and opinion, and history and upbringing, and all those kinds of things that they won’t necessarily even realise is going on for them when they just don’t go to that place. And actually, for you, you found a way to, as you say, change the rules, and create the environment that… you know, you weren’t extracting yourself from situation, you were bringing your best self to the situation, at the time of your choosing in the way that you knew that you were going to be able to give what you wanted to be giving. It’s very powerful.

Dolly Waddell 32:21
Well, yeah, thanks. I mean, I think it is, I look back and think it was powerful. Like even with my children, I sat them down, with my husband, and said, guys, and I used the words, I’m changing the rules. I have been a mummy that’s available all the time for everything. And now that’s changing, because I feel I need to grow into my best self, and like, but I need your help. And I said, this is how I need your help. And I brought them into the story with me. And that’s been really fun and empowering, because I see a lot of women guilty, feeling lots of guilt when they have to work. And I really didn’t want that to be in my rulebook, but I’m very aware of that it could be. Because mums, there’s a hot wire in us that’s like, do feel a bit guilty. But do more, do more, do more, should, should should. And so changing the rules with them has been quite liberating. Because they are, they’re on my board. So I have a contract in my drawer. They’re my trustees. And my contract is, you know, I have board meetings with them asking their opinions, so that they’re very much part of my growth journey. And I think probably as well, the family business piece, just creating my family business.

Gary Crotaz 33:35
How old are your trustees?

Dolly Waddell 33:37
So my most mature trustee is 13. And my, my protege is five, and we’ve got a range in between, 5, 7, 12 and 13. Yeah, but they actually bring terrific advice! Most of their advice involves sweets, so…

Gary Crotaz 33:54
Just bring into life for me an example of something you brought to a board meeting.

Dolly Waddell 34:00
Oh, so I’ve said, Guys, I was doing a some workshops with a company and they phoned me and they said. Great, could you do a recap session? And I went, Oh, great, sure. Booked it in. And went, I don’t really know how to do it. What will I do for a recap session? So I called a board meeting. And I said to my trustees, what do your teachers do when they want to recap stuff? And my whichever one it was, 12 year old I think said, We do a test. So I went, Oh, a test, that’s a good idea. What would be a really fun test, and I think one of them went, Give us sweets. I went, Done! So I went away and created a really fun test with sweets involved, and actually it was an hour long test with a company, we all had loads of fun and I sent out loads of sweets at the end and it was a great, it was great!

Gary Crotaz 34:46
There’s something about shaping the life you want in the way you want and in your unique self coming through. Like that’s a very Dolly thing to do in a brilliant way and it’s just this narrative that comes through so strongly that the label of, you know, vicar’s wife, or member of the family, whatever it is, you know, those kinds of labels that may have defined or constrainted you for many years, and you’re breaking through to, well, I’m going to do things my way, in a way that helps people, it benefits people, you know, you’re not, you’re not closing yourself off in a, in a sort of hermit way at all, that you’re, you’re setting the rules in a way that enables you to bring your best self. So from the, from starting to have this realisation and make changes over the following few years, what changed after that moment?

Dolly Waddell 35:40
What was really, what was really profound for me was, I said, part of my change in the rules, that first month or two, I said, From now on, I’m working on Wednesdays. Now for a woman who’s been working on and off for years informally, two for the price of one, I’m now saying no, I work from eight till seven every Wednesday. And I said to my husband, you do all the domesticity, food, everything, like the whole rule change. So he was up for that. And that first day, that first Wednesday, I remember Googling, what shall I do? I was genuinely like, right? I had my, I had my laptop. I had my desk, I had my new pencil sharpened. You know, I was like, Great! Oh, help now what? So literally Googled it! And I mean, I can’t even remember the answers. They weren’t, they weren’t that relevant. Now I ended up thinking, Do you know the only hunch I’ve got, and this is where we’re all wired differently. But I think for me, I get gut feelings. And my gut feeling was I just kept getting the name of this guy I vaguely know who had a job. Turns out was consultancy, has a job. And every time he talked about it, I always went Oh, that sounds so cool. So I thought I just feel I should phone him and ask him what the name of the job is. Because I’m not, I wasn’t used to the language of all the corporate stuff. Although I have been working with people in churches, yes. But they all have jobs. And they’re all in the corporate space. So, but I just hadn’t sort of plunged into, Yeah, what’s the vibe with all this? Phoned him and he said, Oh I’m a consultant. He told me what he did. And I, I basically boiled it down to, So you help people just really get who they are, and crack on with it and do it well, so they can do their jobs well, and he went, yeah, basically, I went, Oh, my gosh, I’ve been doing that for 15 years. I love that. Can you get paid for that? And he was like, yes. Oh, how much do you get paid? And he told me I went, Hell yeah, I could do that. So then anyway, he laughed and gave me some pointers. And I thought, let’s explore this because I have been doing this without the borders and boundaries of it for 15 years. And something in me that I have since learned through personality stuff. So I’ve done Clifton’s Strength Finders, Gary, I know you’re expert in that I’ve done Myers Briggs and DISC and the Five Voices, but boiled down my personality wiring is I am strategic and a strong communicator. In Clifton Strength Finders-land and the Woo. But if you know DISC, I’m very red, quite yellow, look yellow, but I’m actually very red, direct, want to build, want to kind of be strategic and functional. So it made a lot of sense to me why being pastoral and quiet and listening to everyone for years has always felt not authentic for me. And consultancy, the playground of that is way more suited to me. Because it is let’s build. What’s the bottom line? We’ve got metrics involved. Yes! You know, I just love all that, like you can measure what we’re doing, and see tangible success. The entrepreneur spirit in me from business, the river I’ve swum my whole life, I’m always into profit. So I only want, anything I do has to make a difference to that, is, is, is locked in there. So when I spoke to this chap and heard what he did, I thought this is brilliant. And I started just following the breadcrumbs of consultancy. And I realised I don’t have enough experience in hardcore strategy. So sadly, that’s something I can’t yet bring to the table commercially. But what I can bring to the table is people dynamics and the strategy around people and how they’re wired and how to make them flourish. And within that is a lot of change the rules. So that’s, that was my, when I latched on and went, Oh, I’ve got an innate nature that will be good at that. I have really been doing that for 15 years in a different narrative. I then just started the process of getting some training around it, so that I could catch up with language, with tools, with concepts that are already in the business world linguistically so that I can catch the wind and sail in that space.

Gary Crotaz 40:01
And it’s amazing for me, you know, I’ve watched you now building this incredibly successful people-centred coaching / facilitation business over the years, you know, since, since making that sort of mindset shift. And now you’re, you’re working with all these leading brands with, with this kind of work, with their top leaders. When you look back, what have you learned about yourself, going through that change?

Dolly Waddell 40:28
I, do you know, I’ve really learnt that knowing yourself. And I don’t mean in a kind of, Oh, go find yourself in a gap year, knowing yourself, I’ve done all that. And that’s great. I mean, knowing yourself quite objectively, of which things like, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, because I used to roll my eyes at, when I’d hear about personality profiles, and psychometrics and coaching, but knowing yourself with a bit of data. And knowing that actually, what I really learned is that humans, we’re so wonderfully unique. I’m a real pedal pusher for that, we’re so unique, so marvellous, we’ve got such wonderful experiences that make us different. But we are actually quite predictable. And you knew, just go with me on this analogy. In football, you have set plays, set pieces, if you take a corner, there’s set pieces, sp which piece are you’re gonna play? Our personalities have set pieces. So when my personality type gets stressed, do you know what, only a few variables, I pretty much play a set play. You know, when you get stressed, Gary, your personality type will be prone to doing set pieces. It’s like that. And I think once I saw that, as data in front of me almost. I went, Oh my gosh, this is, this is so much, so helpful. And now, I’ve now got data to to change the rules. Even things like just for years, the oughts and shoulds were for me to be present-orientated, very friendly, very kind, and non-confrontational. Actually, the data is, No I’m wired to be very confrontational, don’t really love detail, but I’ll do it, but I’d rather be future-focused rather than constantly in the present. Having data like that just, it’s been such an expansive, expansive experience or journey rather than a confining one. And I think often with personality stuff, you can feel it’s quite confining and binding. But for me, it’s been the very opposite. It’s helped me understand my husband better. It’s, it’s just brought into sharp focus all my intuition and my instincts, but it’s given me that language to expand into my best self. And, and I don’t get ill anymore, isn’t that interesting, I have way more energy than I used to. But yet, I’m doing more. And I think it’s because I’ve aligned myself to my nature, rather than to the kind of nurture at the oughts and the shoulds. It’s been really, really liberating. I mean, my friends and my family watching go, it’s like a light switch has just come on. But, yeah, and I have a picture on my desk, which I’ll show you now, of a mountain. So I love John Maxwell, who’s a great motivational speaker. And he talks about an uphill climb or downhill slide. And that is just a word that’s gone in for me. So I have this mountain of Everest or something on my desk, just to remind me, I keep, I want to go up the mountain of myself. And just keep going, keep refining. And otherwise, if you forget that piece, you do slide down the mountain, and you do lose yourself.

Gary Crotaz 43:43
So here we are in 2022, what’s coming up for you? What are you, what are you planning for the next six to twelve months?

Dolly Waddell 43:49
I… Well, with, with work, I am very much just keeping on keeping on. I want to, I want to build really thoroughly. So I’m wanting to get as much exposure as I can to teams and leaders to, to bring what I have but also to learn from companies. I’m so excited to be in companies and keep learning. So there is a sense of me just wanting to keep building my reps, I suppose of experience and learning along the way, whilst bringing what I bring and partnering. I just, I just love partnering with people. And as I said, it’s always, I just love being with people and teams. So I’ll be happy doing that forever in many ways. So keeping on with that, but I do, I do really want to get into the space of keynote speaking and bringing messages that I’ve got that bring inspiration. That would, that would make me come alive. Definitely.

Gary Crotaz 44:55
Where can people find out more about you and the work you do?

Dolly Waddell 44:58
Well, LinkedIn I’m Dolly Waddell on LinkedIn and Instagram @dollywaddell. And my website has always got up to date things, you get on my mailing list. I do lots of blogs. So you can see me that way. And I am starting a podcast of my very own. So keep, keep your eyes peeled on my social media platforms for information on when that’s coming out but hopefully that’ll be coming out in the autumn.

Gary Crotaz 45:26
Fantastic. The Unlock Moment is that flash of remarkable clarity, when you suddenly know the right path ahead. For executive coach and facilitator Dolly Waddell, it was a moment of tough self-reflection that made her realise that she had to change the rules, define her own future and take ownership of the path ahead. That moment of realisation enabled her to let go of the pressure of expectation that was exhausting her and driving her to burnout and to refocus her energy on a life that brings out her best self every day. Now she’s helping others to go on that same journey. Wherever Dolly is, you can be sure the future is bright, energised and exciting. Dolly, thank you so much for joining me today on The Unlock Moment.

Dolly Waddell 46:09
Thanks Gary, it’s been great to be here.

Gary Crotaz 46:13
This has been The Unlock Moment, a podcast with me Dr. Gary Crotaz. Thank you for listening in. You can find out more about how to figure out what you want and how to get it in my book, The IDEA Mindset, available in physical book, ebook and audiobook format. Follow me on Instagram and subscribe to this podcast to get notified about future episodes. Join me again soon!

In this interview I meet executive coach and team facilitator Dolly Waddell, whose upbringing in the orbit of a highly successful family luxury jewellery business honed her natural instinct for entrepreneurship. A moment of tough self-reflection made clear how her life as a vicar’s wife and mother of four was defined and constrained by societal expectations, running contrary to her vibrant natural spirit of individuality. This Unlock Moment led her to intentionally change the rules, define her own future and take ownership of the path ahead. Supported by a loving husband and a family advisory board aged between 5 and 13 (the offspring genuinely have contracts in place – listen in!), Dolly’s energy and spirit that she brings to her life and work is truly infectious and I’m sure you will enjoy this fabulous episode!

Dolly Waddell

Instagram: @DollyWaddell

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