Each month, I like to shine a spotlight on one dynamic businessperson whom I believe is making a massively positive impact on their clients, connections and the business world in general. Shining a spotlight allows all of us to get to know these amazing people better. So, this month, let’s meet:
Name: Kate Mackay
Kate Mackay has a portfolio career. She is a certified professional and performance coach, NHS management consultant, guest lecturer in the Faculty of Health Studies at the University of Bradford as well as an author (www.takeitallonboard.com) and blogger (www.mummysnowboarder.com). Her consultancy and coaching work is carried out through her business MuMac Consultancy (www.mumac.co.uk).
How did you get into your current industry / business?
I originally worked as a social science researcher in the NHS based upon my degree which then extended into clinical audit and service improvement work before I set up my own consultancy business. Most of my employed work meant influencing people to make changes; I intuitively used coaching principles but needed to understand theory and coaching frameworks to develop my coaching style further. Upon studying and gaining my coaching qualifications, I then offered coaching as a dedicated service. Throughout my career I always wrote reports and published papers in peer review journals, but once I started snowboarding I began writing for pleasure. Spotting a gap in the market, I set up mummysnowboarder, the UK’s only blog focusing on snowboarding, women and families. Eventually, I came to realise that all my experience gained from the slopes, combined with my coaching and change management work, led me to write a book encapsulating all that combined knowledge, so I wrote Take It All On Board; 8 Steps To Mastering The Slope And Life With Confidence.
Where is your favourite place in the world?
Apart from home, there are several places – I cannot possibly choose one! During wintertime, it has to be somewhere with snow covered mountains. My favourite resort is Morzine and Avoriaz in the French Alps – a home from home. But I also love the view from the top of the Passo Salatti gondola, at 3000 metres, in Italy’s Aosta Valley; on a clear day you can see the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc before taking a 10km run down into Alagna. During the summer a perennial favourite is the Swiss shoreline at Vevey on Lake Geneva; sipping a coffee watching the snow-capped mountains rise above the aquamarine, crystal-clear waters nourishes the soul.
Who had the biggest impact on your life? And why?
Formerly, my mother, because she always encouraged me to follow my heart and do my best; the rest would follow. And latterly, as an adult, my husband who encouraged risk-taking and exposed me to new experiences. He opened up new worlds, pushing me to do more. Snowboarding was his sport and I’ll be forever grateful that he introduced me to that inspiring world of scenic beauty, free-spirited individuals and escapism.
Best book ever read?
That’s a difficult one! As an author and prolific reader I cannot choose one so here’s my list by genre:
Fiction: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Non-fiction: Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
Business: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Self-development: The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsen
Adventure: Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
Cats or dogs?
Both, although my dog has the edge (just don’t tell the cat!)
What project are you currently working on / or have just completed (if it’s not a secret)?
I have just finished writing and publishing my first book – Take It All On Board; 8 Steps To Mastering The Slope And Life With Confidence (www.takeitallonboard.com). It took five years in total, with a substantial re-write after finding an editor. I am now in the throes of marketing and PR, and with the Winter Olympics coming up I am anticipating some interest from mainstream media. I’ve had some enquiries, but shhhh, I cannot tell you who – it’s a secret!
What was your first job / business after leaving education?
My first job was a Research officer for North Derbyshire Health Authority.
What is your favourite drink?
Tea. Although I’m partial to a ‘VAT’ (vodka and tonic) at the weekend. But in the mountains, it has to be a straight Jäegermeister!
What is your favourite season of the year and why?
I love Spring: on warmer, lengthening days I can feel the anticipation of summer. Snowboarding in a t-shirt on a bright sunny day, lapping the snowpark and taking a break, basking in a deckchair, life doesn’t get much better.
If you were doing a 60 second pitch, what would your “ask” be?
At the moment it would be a book buyer for Waterstones and WH Smith. I am looking for potential stockists of my book, so if you know anyone……I’d love to talk to them. Thank you.
**Photography by Damian McArthur**