Heather Monro on our place of birth

Heather Monro | Brightspace Thinking


Gerdi with Heather Monro on the place of our birth

My guest today is Heather Monro of Brightspace Thinking.

I’ve got to know her as part of an intimate and powerful thinking circle she initiated for a small group of soul-centric coaches. In it, she has shown herself to be a great space holder and a deep thinker who can often come at subjects from intriguing angles.

Heather grew up in Central London but from a very early age experienced her greatest sense of belonging in nature. As a teenager, she cultivated this through the discovery of a passion and talent for wilderness running and orienteering. So much so that after leaving Cambridge (where she studied Natural Sciences) she spent 10 years as a full-time athlete winning multiple world medals and titles.

Heather was the second British female orienteer to win a world championship medal. She came 5th at the World Orienteering Championships in 2001. At the 2003 World Orienteering Championships, she was the highest placed British Female coming in Fourteenth place over the 11.8 km race. At the 2005 World Orienteering Championships, she took the bronze medal in the sprint distance. She also came third at the World Games in the same year.

One of Heather’s most notable victories came in the 2003 O-Ringen, an orienteering competition that takes place annually in different areas of Sweden and is the Mecca of Orienteering for athletes from around the world. She has also won the British Orienteering Championships in all four individual disciplines, the only woman to do so, and has won the JK Orienteering Festival 5 times, as well as winning the inaugural JK Sprint.

After retirement from international competition, she brought her experience of the psychology of optimal performance into coaching, but it wasn’t until about 5 years ago she had her ‘awakening’: the realisation that most coaches are just helping people to survive in broken systems. So now she is on a mission to transform those systems!

Heather describes herself as a “ruthlessly compassionate thinking partner for humans who want to reimagine the future”…. Certainly the label ‘coach’ is not bold or aspirational enough for the passion she brings to her work. Increasingly she also thinks of herself as a disruptor – challenging coaching norms through her focus on vertical development and launching a coaching platform in an alternative economic paradigm to our ‘business as usual’ growth-based model.

For more from ‘Daring Self-Leadership …’

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Heather's Favourites Celebrating Nature



‘Storms in Africa’ by Enya


Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall KimmererA Far-Off Place



Opening scene of the movie ‘Pride & Prejudice’ with Keira Knightley, directed by Joe Wright

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