Nigel Hetherington


Nigel HetheringtonNigel lives in Scotland and we agree to meet and talk on Skype.  Nigel is a bundle of energy and has just got back home after a long run.  Not even the Scottish weather deters him from getting outdoors to pursue his fitness goals and compete as an endurance athlete.

I am immediately struck by the richness of sensory metaphorical language Nigel uses when talking about how his career has “oscillated between the left and right hand brain.” He stresses the importance of “peripheral vision to pick up what is around us which gives us new dimensions” to work and life.

He has “skipped around the employment world” starting in a white coat in a research lab which appealed to his logical maths brain and is currently fulfilling his passion for developing people as a Freelance Educator and Trainer as well as a Performance Coach in Athletics.

Nigel’s Bio – early career in science before moving into bigger businesses selling capital instrumentation worldwide; success in management and sales by focusing on customer relationships rather than the products; in 2001 started his own business in laboratory supplies whilst acting as honorary national event coach with Welsh Athletics; his contributions to modernising and professionalising sport bodies in the UK ultimately led to a full time career in performance sport  management in Scotland, talent development in Singapore and, most recently, in freelance sports education and training; currently also a UK Anti-Doping National Trainer.

Why I agree with Jane Cooke’s nomination of Nigel as a #leadinglight:

  • Nigel’s philosophy is  “If you aren’t prepared to embrace change then how can you expect to respond to opportunity?” Knowing just how much change to expect others to embrace is the key to making an impact.  In his role advising schools on sports in Singapore, Nigel coached them to change 1 or 2 things and established timeframes for change which have created a ripple effect around the country.
  • He believes that the most powerful leaders are those who operate behind the scenes. The leaders who have made the most impact on him were those to whom Nigel related the most.  Leaders who understood him, his life outside of work and shared his personal goals. Nigel gets the most out of people by creating the right environment for them to succeed in, sharing a vision and encouraging and directing them to achieve it. He delivers a programmes “Human Connection” to help people grow and become better than they are today.
  • Has a refreshing perspective on goals and planning – goals are not blinkers and a single vision.  Instead they provide order and clarity.  Having too long term a goal could mean missing out on opportunities.  Success is about planning and preparation.  Nigel’s believes there is no such thing as luck in business – “preparation meets opportunity.”

YouTube video that Nigel recommends watching: Tim Minchin’s witty thought provoking 9 lessons on life on receiving honorary doctorate by The University of Western Australia.

Nigel’s nominations for Career Enhancing Attributes:  Be prepared to react and respond to opportunities, Embrace change, It doesn’t matter what you do in your career as long as you’ve given it your best shot.

Nominated by Jane Cooke and modelled by Katherine Wiid

If you know someone who has inspired you, why not nominate them as the next #leadinglight? To read about our other #leadinglights, click here.

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