Spotlight on Maureen Chiana
At Spotlight, we had the opportunity to talk to Maureen Chiana CEO and founder of The Mindsight Academy about how she built her success.
The Mindsight Academy is a subsidiary of Apogee Skills Ltd, it’s a neuroleadership training, consultancy and neuro-coaching company. That leverages brain-science insights into how the brain works to help executives, leaders, entrepreneurs, and female leaders that are struggling to execute their vision or goals.
I do this by encouraging you to be a ‘conscious’ leader with high emotional intelligence. Developing multiple styles of leadership, ability to adapt your behaviour appropriately for any situation, to enable you to become an influential, inspirational leader that provides vision. Transforming the way you and others think about what is possible, feasible, and attainable.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
In 2002 I set up a business that started off well and 4 years later, I had to close it and lost a lot of money. This resulted in me suffering from anxiety, shame, and humiliation. I felt like a failure. It was a very challenging time and I would consider this to be the biggest setback and challenge in my career.
It got to a point that I knew I could not carry on the way I was. Having a background in research, I decided out of curiosity to research the brain. I wanted to understand how people could have the same or similar experience but respond differently. I was interested in knowing how successful people got over failure, bounced back, and achieved great success.
This research led me to discover the power of the brain and how our thoughts and emotions determine our actions, behaviour, and habits. This led me to understand the power of the Neuroscience of Leadership and Emotional Intelligence.
What is an important initiative that you feel passionate about in your role?
I am so passionate about the concept of Emotional Intelligence and the power it gives individuals to turn their life around and become intentional. I am very passionate about helping more leaders and business owners worldwide achieve mental resilience, boost confidence, increase performance, productivity, and lead at a high level by learning to change behaviour to become conscious leaders.
What is it that gives you the drive and determination to succeed?
My two sons are my biggest motivation and my belief that God has made me to be limitless. Being able to make a difference in people’s life or business, also gives me the determination to keep pushing ahead to excel and flourish.
Three tips for those starting their careers
Decide what you want to do, not what you feel you should do.
Go for something you are passionate about or enjoy now - don’t worry about 5 years’ time because the world is changing so fast (have long-term goals but don’t get hung up on them).
Be adaptable to change.
Advice people aiming for leadership positions
Be open to learning new skills, ask lots of questions, seek out a mentor.
Take on big projects at work and embrace challenges.
Be a team player and develop high Emotional intelligence.
Advice be to someone managing a team
Develop high Emotional Intelligence (self-awareness, learn to manage your emotions, develop your personal branding, build your communication skills, be empathetic).
Be adaptable to change.
Care about your people and show them that you care.
To what do you attribute your success?
Resilience, sheer determination to succeed because when I started many people and organizations resisted the concept of ‘Emotional Intelligence’ because they did not understand the value. It was very challenging, trying to get as many people to see the benefits.
I was fortunate to have created an Online Academy 3 years ago. So now that most things are online, I am focusing on making more people aware of it. I am also about to launch a new programme for female leaders that want to get into the C-Suite or take Non-Executive roles. It’s a training and neuro coaching blended program.
With the impact of Covid-19, it has been easy to move everything I do online. Now my neuro coaching and neuroleadership training is all done virtually and the online academy is available for executives, leaders, or business owners to buy and do courses at their own pace, whilst they attend monthly live coaching sessions with me and guests. We have embraced these uncertain times, as a period of opportunities.