An Interview with High-Performance Celebrity Coach Alex Kergall
One of Europe’s leading High-Performance Coaches, Alex Kergall counts among his elite roll-call of clients a number of athletes, executives and emerging leaders across a variety of industry sectors.
We sat down with Mr Kergall to find out more about his career path, the success of his training methods, and how he ensures his clients stay motivated.
Superyachts.com: Can you start by giving us some brief background to your career and how you came to become a coach looking after so many high-level individuals?
Alex Kergall: “I live in London and coach High Performers from all over the world. Originally from France, my father was actually in the French navy which allowed me to travel abroad and connect with many different cultures. After completing Business and Law degrees in France, I spent 15+ years working in international finance for high calibre companies.
"One evening, in 2015, a simple question totally derailed my plans. I was enjoying a nice glass of Pomerol when the question hit me: who are you, Alex? This resonated very deeply. And I found myself unable to answer this particular question.
“And this is exactly what coaching is all about: asking powerful questions and helping my clients gain clarity, see their blind spots, find a better balance in their life, change perspective, and perform at a higher level.
“I had to coach 100+ hours to become certified by the International Coach Federation (ICF) which is the most respected coaching organisation in the world. I completed this certification 3 years ago.”
Do you create bespoke coaching routines and what kind of factors do you consider when devising them?
“Everything I do is bespoke because it is what my clients expect. This includes coaching them wherever they may be, even on their yachts. I generally start with one coaching session to assess if coaching is right for them and if I am the right coach for them From there, I develop a pretty clear idea of how we can progress.
“A couple of years ago when I started to work with football players, I developed the Global Performance Index (GPI) – a tool now referenced on Wikipedia which allows me to understand how to support my client at a much faster pace.
“The GPI offers 40 different personality markers to assess where one stands in their life. These markers are divided in 4 key categories: Mind - Body - Heart - Spirit. For me, this holistic approach is critical in generating a powerful and successful coaching journey.
“When you help millionaires improve figures by >5%, that represents a lot. Their change will impact them primarily whilst also influencing all the people they connect with. This creates an overall positive spiral which is what fuels my love for coaching.”
Where do these sessions take place?
“Wherever my clients need me to be. I also use video sessions. This allows me to coach my clients from anywhere when a live session is not necessary or possible.”
Would you say it’s easier to coach successful people because they are generally already naturally motivated people?
“Not necessarily. The people I work with are often motivated, but only around 75% motivated due to limiting factors. My job is to unpack this and take them closer to 100%.
“Motivation may be a good ingredient, but not a mandatory one to initiate change. For instance, you may be motivated to go to the gym and end up not going. There is a lot more to the story than just motivation to generate change.
“What successful people have developed is an ability to embrace change – which is certainly one of their biggest assets. They are keen to work on themselves and understand their environment. Keep in mind that success is a very personal view and each individual has a different perspective of what success means.”
Presumably, many of your clients spend a lot of time travelling, where it’s very easy to slip out of the good practices you keep at home surrounding exercise and diet – what advice do you give to your clients to maintain their motivation whilst away from home?
“Yes, my clients travel a lot. Take a footballer who has half of his games played away from home. Keeping habits consistent is critical. If you are delivering at a certain level, you know what it takes. If you are casual with your habits, you will become a casualty.
“In the end, it's all a mental game. We often call Executives ‘Corporate Athletes’. This corresponds to the reality of my work. For High Performers to operate at the highest level, they need to maintain a balance between Mind-Body-Heart-Spirit. If you go to bed at 2am and have an important meeting at 8am, you will likely lose some focus, creativity and reactivity. This impacts your entire day. My clients know the rules of the game; it is a matter of trading priorities.”
What skill sets did you learn in your time working in finance that you have now adopted in your coaching ?
“Measuring impacts and being organised are certainly the two key aspects. The Global Performance Index (GPI) is a solution to an important issue in the coaching industry: how do you accurately measure the impacts of coaching? How do you picture it? It is critical to assess where we start and where we land. I don’t do chit-chat – I am fully dedicated to the success of my clients.
“As a coach being organised is important as you must be able to meet the demands of all your clients perfectly, whilst also managing a company at the same time.”