Everyone needs a Maureen

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Everyone needs a Maureen…..

But what is “a Maureen” I hear you say?!

Let me tell you a little story….

It was August 2018 and I had just walked into ITV studios for my first audition for The Voice UK, bright eyed and nervous, wanting to impress.

I was told I’d have a quick vocal coaching session with one of their professional coaches beforehand.

My name was called and I walked into a small side room, and it was then that I met Maureen.

She had an air of authority and grace about her.

She held a big notebook and wore glasses with a flamboyant scarf.

She looked me up and down with interest over her glasses and said “what’s your name?“

“My name’s Sarah” I said.

“Ok Sarah” she said “why are you standing like that?”

Cue confusion and fidgeting from me 😟 “Errr I don’t know” I said.

“You’re apologising before you’ve even opened your mouth! Stand up straight! Chest out. Back straight. Now that’s better…… What are you going to sing?”

You can imagine my nerves to actually open my mouth and sing to this woman 😕

But somehow I did.

And what she then did was life changing for me.

As she scribbled down notes (that I’d heard about it in the waiting area) I thought “what on Earth is she going to say?!”

She looked at me with eyes welling up and said “Stay right there” and then proceeded to shout for one of the researchers in the hall.

She demanded he come into the room to “listen to this” and asked me to sing again.

She looked as proud as punch as she showed me off to this poor young guy.

She then released him back to the hall, and told me how moved she was and how blown away she was by my voice. She told me that she predicted I would not only get through to the coaches but that she’d put her money on me getting 4 turns.

She made me feel amazing.

She made me believe that I could actually do this.

In the weeks that followed she prepped me for that big stage, and it wasn’t always easy, but I truly feel that she helped me experience that moment.

Those 4 turns

She was more than a coach.

She was more than a cheerleader.

She was more than a critic.

She was Maureen.

And I believe everyone needs one.

So we try and be a “Maureen” to our team here 🙏🏻

It’s one of our core values in The Mortgage Mum Limited.

Tough conversations are often made easier with a little “Maureen warning” ⚠️ beforehand.

And to me, that is true leadership.

Brave conversations with open hearts, with a view to helping someone realise their potential.

Something I learnt from Maureen ❤️