We had the good fortune of connecting with Amna Hasnain and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amna, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
People outside the coaching industry are often unaware of what a coach does and specifically how coaches differ from therapists and consultants. Leadership or executive coaching is a relatively new industry – less than 50 years – so it is understandable that people are unsure and perhaps even a bit skeptical of the value proposition. A therapist helps heal emotional wounds from trauma and/or cope with mental illness. A consultant is an expert in a specific area; they provide advice to solve specific problems. A leadership coach collaborates with his/her clients to help them maximize their potential. Companies often send managers to leadership trainings and while the content delivered in those workshops is usually good – most people are not able to retain, practice, and perfect those learnings. Furthermore, it’s a one-size-fits-all approach. A few weeks after the training classes are over, the information gets forgotten and the workbooks sit on a shelf, collecting dust. Coaches seek to understand the client’s unique leadership vision and goals and then meet with them on a regular basis to help implement a tailored approach and hold their clients accountable.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I became a leadership coach because coaching had a profound impact on me. A few years ago, I was feeling stuck professionally. I had lots of ideas, but I couldn’t figure out a path forward. Coaching gave me clarity, focus, and a clear map to achieve my goals. I went from a place of frustration and confusion to feeling energized and fulfilled. As a leadership coach, I help managers move from task based management to visionary leadership. In most companies, when high performing employees get promoted to leadership roles – they are thrown into the fire and expected to “figure it out”. The expectation is that managers excel in processes, people supervision, and projects and have high emotional & social intelligence, are able to influence, think strategically, and serve as change agents. Just reading that previous sentence probably gave you a headache – imagine trying to “figure it out” on top of a growing task list! That’s where I come in – I partner with new and middle managers to first explore their unique goals and beliefs. We then develop a customized plan to help them achieve their vision. I love my work because I get to meet with lots of interesting, intelligent people and help them achieve their career dreams!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First, I would tell my friend to visit in the fall months – the whole city comes alive to celebrate during those crisp, cool autumn days – southern hospitality is on full display! I would start off our morning with breakfast a Cindi’s N.Y. Deli. I love their charming diner vibe, the coffee is always hot, and they have the best scrambled eggs. After that, we’d stroll through Highland Park Village, and explore their high-end trendy stores and pop into Bird Bakery for a cupcake (or two…who’s counting!) From there, we would head to the local farmer’s market or outdoor arts festival, and end the day watching a movie at the Angelika theater. Other places I’d recommend: Dallas Museum of Art, the Dallas Arboretum, going to a Mavericks game, Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar, the George W. Bush Presidential Library, & sampling from food trucks at Klyde Warren Park. Favorite dining spots: Rise souffle, Cafe Istanbul, Chuys, Kobe Steaks, and Five Guys (burgers).
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I value stability and security, so up till a few years ago – entrepreneurship was the farthest thing from my mind. I was content at my job working as a Finance & Operations manager at a Fortune 500 company and on the surface, everything was great. Yet… I wasn’t feeling fulfilled. Then one day I picked up the book “The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything” by Ken Robinson. It was one of those life-changing books – that gave me the confidence and courage to explore my career dreams and launch my leadership coaching practice. A big (Texas sized!) shout out to my family and close friends – they have cheered me on, served as a sounding board as I tested out ideas, and provided much needed comic relief during the stressful times.