“Whilst she is a very gentle soul she also has the strength of a lion”
Though the corporate world can be a lot intimidating for most women, there seems to be some who believe that the sky actually isn’t the limit because life is merely an adventure. This, I must admit, is bravery at its finest. It proves that not all women are as myopic as they have always been made to believe; most women have broken through that poisonous shell and are flying higher trying to get in touch with their potentials. This is proven on a daily basis by women like Pam Kerr, oh what a joy it is to feature her this woman’s month.
Pam is an internationally accredited and qualified Business & Life Coach who obtained her qualifications in the UK and currently lives in East London; she was born ‘nearly 50 years ago in what was formerly known as Salisbury in Rhodesia’ and later moved to Port Elizabeth, South Africa. She’s a first-born in a family of two girls.
The people-orientated woman gives us a thorough explanation of what a Life Coach is; she explicates that ‘Coaching is a collaborative process, in which people have clearly defined roles: the coach is responsible for keeping the conversation focused on a clearly defined goal, facilitating the other person’s thinking, keeping track of progress and delivering constructive feedback; the coachee is responsible for generating ideas and options, taking action to achieve the goal, and reporting progress’.
Pam owns GKC, a company which specialises in recruiting and coaching individuals and teams along with training and implementing coaching, and mentorship programs within companies. “Once I have a clear understanding of what the desired outcomes are I design programs to specifically address these needs. I have an established client base – individuals and companies that I work with on a regular basis. I believe that my repeat and new business comes from going the extra mile and really delivering where I can beyond their initial expectation,” she elaborates.
Taking us back to the time before she became a Life Coach, Pam puts it in the picture that her first management role was at PAG Recruitment in East London and then got promoted within the group to Cape Town and tasked to set up a multi-divisional “super branch”. She then went on to become their Regional Manager of the consulting arm of the business in the Western Cape. Looking at the positions Pam has held, she seems to be taking after her grandfather whom she claims was her source of inspiration and an incredible leader –who worked his way up in the mines and became the youngest gold mine manager in his day. However, she also outlines that her mother has moreover inspired her a lot and contributed to the wonderful woman she is today, “My Mom has always been my rock and my sounding board, she has a high level of emotional intelligence and her wisdom gives me a new way of looking at myself and situations. Whilst she is a very gentle soul she also has the strength of a lion!”
The vivacious idealist has proven to be the most driven woman who would stop at nothing to achieve what she wants; she has been to London to gain international experience within her chosen profession and has worked with big companies like Reed Senior Finance and Diageo, which she thinks gave her ‘the insight to how businesses should be approaching leadership back here in South Africa’. Because she so loves her country and believes a lot in making a difference, Pam returned to South Africa to assist in fulfilling the vision of addressing the skills shortage in the country with the knowledge she attained from abroad. “I think that addressing the skills shortage here in South Africa is an ongoing process and a lot of companies need to redefine their approach to leadership and the development of their staff. We have a huge problem at the moment with South Africa losing a lot of highly skilled people to the overseas market. There are not enough skilled people to fill these gaps. So much needs to be addressed by government, most especially education which I do not feel is getting the attention that it needs. I like to feel that I contribute to improving the skills shortage on an individual level – one person at a time through coaching and the workshops that I run,” she continued.
Pam wrote a weekly Coaching column for the Daily Dispatch and is now a guest speaker on Wild Coast FM every Monday at 3.30 on the coaching show “Life Matters”.