Equenti Leadership & Learning: Lead Yourself Well and Everything Else Falls into Place
Angela Koning, Owner/Director
“It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
We need our leaders the most during times of crisis, yet this is often the time when good leaders falter, and our teams suffer the most. When Angela Koning realised that traditional leadership coaching models that used ‘buttoned-up’ corporate speak, cold performance reviews and KPIs weren’t getting the results her leaders needed, she instead developed a leadership coaching model that drew on insights generated from her own journey of self-discovery. At the time, she had no idea her work would resonate so strongly with leaders or the profound impact it would have on leaders when managing a crisis like we see today.
Angela’s unique perspective on leadership development came about after an existential crisis caused her to rethink her values, her professional approach, and her purpose on this planet. She embarked on a journey of self-discovery to ruminate on what lights up her internal creative fire, excites and energises her. She was quick to discover that this “lit” mindset was the “secret sauce” to success in both business and life. It was the catalyst for not only a seismic shift in how Angela approached leadership coaching but also how she lived her life, and she hasn’t looked back.
Today Angela and her dynamic team at Equenti Leadership & Learning—an Australian leadership and learning consultancy—are empowering organisations with a leadership model that allows leaders to achieve a ‘#litleadership’ state regardless of the external conditions they are facing in their role. “Equenti is “unteaching” everything the traditional corporate world has told us about leadership by using experiential learning to rehumanise the experience of work. We are also disrupting the leadership consulting industry by training frontline leaders in the skills of coaching and facilitation so companies can better build internal capability and reduce their reliance on consultants,” begins Angela, Owner/Director, Equenti Leadership & Learning.
Angela believes that with better self-awareness, everyone can improve their self-belief, change the way they think and reimagine how they see themselves in the world. She brings together 20 years of experience in leadership development, team building and human resource management to deliver insightful programs via experiential learning, equine-assisted learning and corporate workshops. Angela works with leaders to help them discover what lights them up and why it is important to know what inspires and energises their people.
“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
At Equenti, they firmly believe the real traction is not in changing others, but in helping leaders to bring their Leadership Mojo (or energy) to life and business. In other words, it’s not about what they do as leaders, but how they show up in their energetic state for their teams. She helps leaders achieve an impressive Leadership Mojo so they have a solid foundation from which they can serve their teams with authenticity, confidence and connection—even (and especially) when the pressure is on in business. Once this groundwork has been laid, Angela works strategically with the organisation to build engaged, functional and committed teams who are focused on achieving organisational goals and next-level results.
At the core, Equenti uses a combination of corporately accepted organisational development and leadership theory in combination with its own coaching frameworks (e.g. the Leadership Mojo Model) to deliver leadership coaching, team building and culture change services that are engaging, innovative and effective. The evidence is clear that old-school classroom-based learning fails to drive profound personal change, knowledge retention and implementation and as such, Equenti has successfully integrated experiential learning techniques such as gamification and equine-assisted learning into their leadership programs to light the internal fire of leaders and create learning experiences that are remembered and implemented. While frontline leaders continue to struggle in developing their teams and depend on external consultants to deliver coaching, workshop facilitation and training, Equenti’s #LitLeadership Program has a solution.
We are also disrupting the leadership consulting industry by training frontline leaders in the skills of coaching and facilitation so companies can better build internal capability and reduce their reliance on consultants
The program equips leaders with coaching and facilitation skills and reduces reliance on consultants for frontline leadership development and truly adds long term, sustainable value.
“Those who do not move do not notice their chains.” ~ Rosa Luxemburg
Equenti specialises in working with leaders who have in-depth technical knowledge in their discipline such as IT leaders, scientists, engineers, academics and finance experts. These specialist groups tend towards a specific behavioural profile that critically values knowledge and expertise, and not all consultants can work effectively with them. Equenti understands the particular needs and preferences of these specific groups and loves sharing leadership and learning processes with them.
To begin with, Equenti works closely with organisations to eliminate and solve long-standing problems, such as creating strategic clarity in leadership teams and mobilising action for strategy execution. In doing, the company diagnoses exactly what’s happening with the people in the client’s business and creates a custom strategy for them and their team based on their unique needs. The company also overcomes the challenge of developing the capability of leaders, so they bring the most constructive leadership mojo to their teams and drive inspired strategy execution. Equenti also assists them in building high performing teams that are unified, constructive and inspired by their role in executing their company’s strategy. Lastly, Equenti plays an instrumental role in creating a culture that aligns with the client’s organisation purpose and values and allows its people to feel valued and inspired while delivering their strategy. “As we work together, we encourage you to think differently about people leadership and implement what we teach you straight away—then watch your results soar to new heights. Our consulting approach focuses on boosting your bottom-line results through more effective day-to-day people management, aligning strategy and structure and deliberately leveraging leadership and culture,” adds Angela.
Equenti is defined as much by what it does not do as the excellence in service it does deliver. Instead of providing a bandaid or surface-level solution that does not fully solve a particular problem or be sustainable over time, Equenti engages with clients for at least 6-12 months and re-evaluates progress as it moves forward. “We specialise in providing expert analysis and advice on people issues, and we will always have the courage for straight talk. Rather than serving clients with a glossy strategy or plan that impresses their board and executive but leaves their people out in the cold, we plan to change and always engage their frontline leaders and teams–after all, that’s where the rubber hits the road,” explains Angela.
Equenti brings a diverse portfolio of services tailored to the specific requirements and challenges faced by each client. These services include leadership coaching for key leaders and influencers, team building and executive retreats, culture change planning, communication and building the new skills needed, and training for teams so that everyone can learn to be leaders in life and business, even if they don’t hold a formal leadership position. Personalised for their unique leadership challenges, Equenti leverages its proven coaching model and corporately tested and valued frameworks to guide its clients on their self-leadership journey--teaching, coaching and supporting them to be more effective for themselves, their team and their organisation.
“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
Equenti stands on the belief that leadership is not about being the boss or having a senior job title. It is rather about serving others. In this attempt to empower leaders, the company offers leadership coaching, wherein it works together for a minimum of 6 months, with fortnightly or monthly sessions, meeting face to face or via video calls for 45-90 minutes. In essence, this leadership coaching comprises four phases:
• Self-Awareness: In this phase, Equenti uses reflective learning and behavioural profiling to help leaders understand their strengths and limitations and how uniquely they are wired to think and ‘be’ at work.
• Self-Leadership: This phase involves understanding and practising leading oneself better in terms of the impact one has on others, her/his effectiveness as a leader, and how she/he manages time, emotional energy, professional relationships, stress levels, and balances work with life.
• Team Leadership: This is where Equenti helps leaders to engage effectively and lead a team and acquire leadership skills like delegation, developing, and upskilling their team, managing tricky performance issues, setting inspiring expectations and having their team rise to challenges.
• Organisational Leadership: This phase is all about learning to champion and lead change, communicate confusing messages, create connections and work across silos, plan and execute more reliably, and create a constructive culture that enables strategy.
These phases are followed by team building and executive retreats, wherein Equenti conducts face to face workshops for group learning and creating a great team culture together. “Team building works well in combination with leadership coaching, so the leader can keep pace with the development of their newly inspired team. Executive leadership retreats are offered in the format of our Hooked on Leadership program,” says Angela.
“Relationships are the only thing that matters in business and life.” ~ Jerry Weintraub
Angela works with organisations who value their employees and want to improve their leadership and culture. For the past 18 months, Equenti has been working with an Australian energy company providing coaching and team-building workshops for their leadership teams to assist them in navigating a disrupted market. These efforts have significantly improved staff engagement and brought about a reduction in industrial relations issues and allowed the client to be more strategic and collaborative in their planning.
In yet another impressive feat, Equenti recently partnered with a local government authority in Queensland to put executive teams and all 70 frontline leaders through Equenti’s unique equine-assisted leadership programs, Hooked on Leadership and Hooked on Supervisors. This demonstrates outside-the-box thinking and adoption of experiential learning in one of Australia’s oldest and most traditional industries.
“I originally engaged Angela to help my organisation identify human resource risks and issues and provide solutions. What I’ve received from Angela was beyond my expectations. Angela’s approach is personal and insightful. Angela was able to provide a broad and experienced perspective on our organisational issues and assist in building leadership capacity in our Senior Leaders. Angela and the Equenti team continue to build and add value with every engagement at my organisation,” says Chad Walker, Business Manager, Riverside Christian College—one of the many happy and highly-satisfied clients of Equenti.
“We work long term with clients using gamification and experiential learning techniques that have our clients think outside of the box and rehumanise the experience of leadership and work”
The uniqueness of Equenti stems from its commitment to the client relationship and bespoke programs. Angela adds, “All of our programs are designed specifically for each client to address the unique leadership and organisational issues they are facing—we don’t do standardised, repetitive, off-the-shelf programs. We work long term with clients using gamification and experiential learning techniques that have our clients think outside of the box and rehumanise the experience of leadership and work.”
“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” ~ Ronald Reagan
On a final note, the horses that Equenti uses in its programs have been rehomed to it after a life of racing and are important members of the Equenti team. These experts hope that leaders will be inspired by their experience with Equenti to seek out similar learning experiences, therefore, creating an industry-wide shift in the way frontline leadership education is delivered. This year, leaders who have completed six months of leadership coaching with Equenti will be invited to participate in the #LitLeadership program. This program is exclusively for leaders exiting the coaching program and teaches them how to coach and facilitate teams, thereby building internal capability within the organisation and reducing the reliance on consultants. This program is disruptive amongst the management consulting industry, which has traditionally been accused of creating dependence on external consultants.