Academy for Chief Executives Blog Rotating Header Image

Coaching, Mentoring and Personal Development by Jayne Storey

Jayne Storey

I’ve facilitated at a couple of Academy for Chief Executives (ACE) events recently, one being a two-day Annual Retreat and the other a monthly group meeting. At each event, the members were shown different ways to practise the ancient art of Meditation and shown how to incorporate this into a busy work schedule.

On both occasions, each member identified the value to themselves both personally and professionally and committed to a 6 week programme of practising Meditation 3 times per week for 20 minutes each time.

An unusual approach to mentoring and personal development, Meditation is an ancient Eastern art originating in India as part of the Hindu way of life (Dhyana) then spreading to China where it was incorporated into the martial traditions of the Shaolin and Wu Tang Temples (Ch’an) and finally reaching Japan, where it is most well known as being part of Buddhist spirituality (Zen).

Today Meditation is practised by millions of people around the world for its restorative and health-giving properties and much of my coaching life is spent teaching this art to competitive athletes, to help them get “in the zone” of relaxed concentration needed for the mind and body to excel when under pressure.

For the ACE members in the groups I was coaching, Meditation was seen as something which could enhance a number of areas, including switching off from work when at home, being able to sleep more easily, stopping the sense of overwhelm and getting caught up in the minutiae of business, restoring calm and well-being and undoubtedly helping to meet the challenges of day-to-day hectic lifestyles.

However, by far the most interesting area to be highlighted in these sessions, was that of using Meditation (silence, stillness, solitude) to develop what one ACE member called his True Self and what I and other coaches/speakers often refer to as the Authentic Self.

To illustrate this point, I’d like to run you through a case study involving a highly successful business-man who had regular coaching in Meditation with me for the best part of a year.

Mr X (not his real name…) had built a hugely successful business selling sports goods online. He heard about my coaching through an associate and decided to give Meditation a try, to see if it could help him restore some kind of balance to his day-to-day existence and calm his over-active mind. Before building his online Empire, Mr X had been a peaceful, family-loving, sports enthusiast who happened to hit on a great idea and be in the right place at the right time with the right resources and the right connections. Now he found himself caught up in the treadmill of success and didn’t know how to be peaceful anymore, nor did he know how to enjoy downtime with his wife and young children and he felt exhausted all the time but wanted desperately to start fitness training again.

After practicing Meditation for several weeks, some interesting things started to happen. He started sleeping better, had more energy, was no longer living on a short-fuse and was able to stop himself over-thinking as he was now aware of the warning signs and could do something about it.

Several months later, the benefits ever increasing, Mr X called me in to his company to run a Management Seminar, teaching his key employees what I had taught him. At the morning break I was in the kitchen getting coffee and was cornered by half a dozen of the delegates (including Mrs X) who wanted to tell me how much Mr X had changed since doing Meditation, how he no longer yelled at his staff, how he had more time to explain things and find solutions to problems and so on.

Mr X still keeps up his routine, and has even commented that if he bails on his practice for a few weeks, he can feel his old-ways coming to the fore again. Instead, he stays committed to his practice and enjoys being his Authentic Self – the real ‘him’ that was covered up by the stress of success – and has time and energy enough for his family, has taken up the gym again and even spends a couple of evenings per week mentoring young athletes.

Jayne Storey has been practising Zen Meditation and T’ai Chi for the past two decades and she is now the world’s foremost teacher of these arts to professional athletes. In the business world her coaching helps executives and entrepreneurs achieve ‘the zone’, for developing superior performance under pressure. For more information, please ring UK Mobile: 07986 447 250 or visit

Leave a Reply