Ed Percival and his Cayman legacy

Ed Percival
The late, great Ed Percival

This week in Cayman I find myself musing on Perspectives, on Legacy, on Context, all as I am here with my own Context this week of CONNECTION. After two meetings early in the week with a current client and a past client, I find myself thinking of the legacy of the great Ed Percival on Cayman and how he shifted Perspective and Context for a significant number of Cayman’s leaders.

Ed was my greatest mentor in life, a literal and figurative giant of a man. He passed away on June 25, 2015, and hundreds came to his funeral to talk, to share the huge impact he had for them and so many others.

Ed is honoured by me in a small way on this site through the #BeMoreYou page on this site, as this simple phrase was the distillation to the beautiful simplicity of his many decades of learning around coaching and human behaviour. What he wanted for all of us was to be more ourselves.

I met Ed shortly after I joined Shirlaws as a new coach, but my first real interaction with him was during a group discussion at a Shirlaws coaches conference in the UK in 2012. My natural big energy and enthusiasm saw me talk over an idea he had and I clearly upset him. I later bumped him in a hallway at the conference and apologised to him, saying: “I promised to dial back my energy in future”. When I said that, his energy shifted, he raised himself even taller, stepped right up to me, pressed his fingertips into my chest, then said, firmly, “don’t you EVER dim your light. This world needs what you have to give!”.

I was in shock after that, but later that day took a “brave pill” and asked Ed to mentor me to be more me.

Less than a year later he came to Cayman for the first several visits between 2013 and 2015 to lead an amazing two-day workshop as part of the first Leadership Growth Programme (LGP).

This week that current client, who had been on that LGP back then, was reflecting on the huge impact Ed had on him, how Ed was intense and energetic, yet that was also tempered by his humour, his gentle nature, and most of all by his powerful intention to help others.

After that meeting, I met that past client I referred to. This person leads a business that has more than doubled in recent years and is now ready to lead it to double and more in size again. This is always music to my ears, as my own personal intent is #MakingPotentialPossible, so I love it when I see the potential in others and they choose to make it happen!

Now, at the same time, at that moment this person was clearly exhausted. As I listened to them talk through where they are and their intention to realise the full potential of their business, I saw a dissonance between the words and their energy. When they were ready, I asked if I could talk through what I saw for them and their business in my crystal ball. I was SO enthusiastic as I could see the path clearly for them and downloaded thoughts and ideas with energy and at speed.

As we finished, I apologised for perhaps bringing too much energy to that conversation. They paused and looked at me. I saw then, before they confirmed it with their words, that my energy had charged their batteries and it had given them additional confidence to let their light shine and realise their potential.

Thank you, Ed, I know you are still watching us. Your legacy in and for Cayman continues to grow. #BeMoreYou.

That day this week after those two meetings, my feeling was simple. Grateful.

PS an earlier blog on the LGP: “Life is too short not to do something that matters“, and for Cayman folk, a video from 2014 featuring several of those LGP participants, a trip down memory lane.

Also published on Medium.