In our “Meet our Members” series, we interview professionals working in New York to learn more about what they do, how they can help the community and who they would like to connect with.
Member Focus: James Frawley, Executive & Organizational Coach, Business Consultant
Tell us more about what you do?
In the words of Tom Landry, “A coach is a person who tells you what you don’t want to hear, shows you what you don’t want to see, so you can become the person you know you can be.” As an executive coach, I work with individuals, companies and teams to help them be better. This could mean working individually with an executive on improving their leadership style, or with an entrepreneur or small business on their growth strategy and change management. Other times, it means running corporate workshops to improve teams, on topics like the neuroscience of teamwork, emotional intelligence or sales coaching.
You previously worked in various marketing & PR roles. What inspired you to make the move into personal coaching ?
The entire economic framework is changing, and many people aren’t prepared for it. Working in the financial industry for fifteen years, I saw how high the stakes were for people to be successful. I never had a real desire to work in the financial industry, so I employed an executive coach to discuss what my next steps would be. After three meetings, I had decided that executive coaching was the right way to go, and I enrolled in Columbia’s Executive Coaching program to be certified.
And I’m so happy I did. We are expected to be so much to so many – great leaders but also great team members, improving culture while also improving bottom line. And in order to be successful, we need a coach to get us to that next level.
Tell us more on how you’d like to help the Irish community in New York. How would people benefit?
The Irish community is my home. Born in the Bronx, I have dual citizenship with Ireland and regularly work with executives there and here. As this economy changes, I want to make sure that members of the Irish community can continue to grow and be successful. We have an incredible network here in New York, and there are also very exciting people and ideas coming out of Ireland. There is nothing I want more than to make sure that fellow Irish and Irish Americans are expanding and challenging themselves in the best way possible.
Your Career Advice
If you had one piece of advice for yourself earlier in your career, what would it be?
Network more and be patient. We are so focused on short term gains that we forget about the long-term view. Pair that with our innate need to be social, and you are set. A career will last you 40-50 years, at least. It will take different twists and turns, but just remember that there is a long arc, and nothing will more powerfully impact your career than your network.
Who was the biggest influence on your career?
Easily my wife. I’ve learned from and worked with some of the most incredible people, senior executives from a wide range of firms, but my wife was the one who gave me the push to go out on my own. She fully supports me – and I wouldn’t have my current career without her.
What do you enjoy most about your current role?
The variety of clients and problems we work on. I’ll work with a CEO on time management, then with a VP on executive presence, and follow those up with a corporate workshop on the neuroscience of teamwork, effective sales coaching or the psychological preparation of retirement. No single day is the same, and my clients are always interesting people.
What are your passions outside of work?
Outside of work, my passions are simple. I’m an avid reader, reading 2-3 books a week, or I’ll be playing with our 4 month old daughter. When I can sneak away, my brother and I have season tickets to cheer on the New York Red Bulls.