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Fabulous at 70: Dr Neslyn Watson-Druée

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Planting the seeds of Greatness in the Garden of Love and Kindness

Meryl Streep, Jessica Lange, Elizabeth Ann Warren are names who are hijacking the headlines worldwide. America is leading with women who are as fabulous at 70 and decided to make a unequivocal mark after their 70th birthday: Maxine Waters, 80, the first woman to head the Financial Services Committee, Donna Shalala, 78, Glenn Close was 71 when she won a Golden Globe for best actress in January. And at home we have Dr Neslyn Watson-Druee

With lower birth rates and higher life expectancy, the population of the UK is transforming, and we learn to celebrate longevity!

The pensionable age is increasing and the pressure on the system to provide essential social services like education, healthcare and housing, raises a very difficult question:  Is longevity sustainable?

Sovereign Magazine takes note of women and their achievements at any age and is putting together a Special edition this summer for Women Fabulous at 70 to celebrate the Divine Feminine, big numbers and the joy of being fabulous throughout an entire life.

How is Longevity served in the UK?

Life expectancy over the last few decades has been steadily increasing. Females born in 2015 can expect to live 82.8 years from birth, 4 years more than females born in 1991. Males have seen a greater increase in life expectancy of 5.7 years, from 73.4 years for males born in 1991 to 79.1 years for males born in 2015. Life expectancy in the UK is also projected to continue increasing; with life expectancy at birth for females projected to be 85.1 years by 2026 and 86.6 years by 2036. Males are also projected to live longer, increasing to 82.1 years by 2026 and 83.7 years by 2036. (Source National Statistics)

Who is turning 70 in 2019?

Meryl StreepJessica Lange and Elizabeth Ann Warren are names who are hijacking the headlines worldwide! America is leading with women who are as fabulous at 70 and decided to make a unequivocal mark after their 70th birthday: Nancy Pelosi, proved to be the president’s most remarkable opponent, alongside Maxine Waters, 80, the first woman to head the Financial Services Committee, Donna Shalala, 78, Glenn Close was 71 when she won a Golden Globe for best actress in January.

And at home we have Dr Neslyn Watson-Druee

High Profile leadership development authority Dr Neslyn Watson-Druée, left Jamaica when she was 19 and five decades later, we celebrate her 70th Birthday in London. London has been home to her dreams and to her trials but she never gave up on her higher purpose. Neslyn decided to stay true to herself when very few, if any, really understood the impact of the divine feminine in business success.

For decades, Neslyn taught Executives to unlearn what they know and learn who they truly are.

Gracefully trading her years of experience for inner wisdom, Neslyn is noticing that while discrimination and prejudice, sexual orientation and pay gap are still part of our societal fabric, come in different forms and shapes, but in smaller dozes. Winning endless accolades from international organisations and media outlets which felt the need to confirm the recognition she deserves, Sovereign went a step further and find out what impact she made in other people leadership journey, what happened after their personal encounter with Neslyn- The Guardian angel.

Business psychologist and Prof. Executive Coach serving CEOs, Directors and Aspiring Directors to be their best in their leadership, are all grateful beyond words for achieving high performance, excelling in their field against all challenges and transforming their business and life with integrity, passion, vision and emotional intelligence.
I have to start by acknowledging that if Neslyn wasn’t coaching the Sovereign team, myself and my son included, perhaps Sovereign will not be where it is.

Neslyn helped us activate our team creative potential, get clarity on the footprints that Sovereign leaves, our ethos as a good news media. My favourite sessions are about being courageous, authentic, confident and being aware of the possibility of helping others, at every turn and teach them to become the opportunity they seek.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, recognition comes not once but on three occasions, and that did not end Neslyn’s desire to deliver excellence. Being awarded an MBE for nursing leadership was just the beginning of her firm commitment to progress followed by The Queen’s Medal and CBE for Health Service Innovation and Leadership.  Neslyn contribution to the change in attitude towards black nurses doesn’t bring her life purpose to a holt and represent only one fraction of her determination to nurture contemporary tolerance and deliver the transformative power of love and kindness.

Imagine a time when, after falling in love with your job, fulfilling your role with excellence, a newly appointed manager comes along and tells you: “I find you threatening, because you are black, you are a woman and you are intelligent. I’m going to block you.” As a result, Neslyn left her job, a job she cherished, to developed a new path for the NHS Executive and teach them the ropes of leadership and excellence and, most importantly, Neslyn created a platform for unapologetic Leadership. That Leadership Demonstration programme helped the NHS tackle the discrimination experienced by so many black nurses and, as a result, she was awarded an MBE for nursing leadership.

When I first heard Neslyn’s story she was gracing our stage at Batfa at The Authors Awards. Something struck a chord with me, and reminded me of a time when I was told something on these lines, but instead of black, the word was ‘widow’. I believed it to be true. Unlike myself, Neslyn, did not allow overwhelm to cloud her mission and decided that it is time to help women, just like you and me, to stand up for themselves, and never let anyone be told who they are but teach who they could become and embrace Excellence.

Learning to un-learn

Now one of the most sought-after High Profile executive coach, author and speaker, Neslyn lives her life on purpose and deliver her works internationally, with passion. Her approach to her work is deeply spiritual and in more ways than one, is about unlearning what you know so you learn who you are, as a Divine being. “Divine beings, spiritual beings with human experience. Neslyn says: When you can become aware of the Divinity in another person, irrespective of gender, race and all the things that we use to categorise or segment people, you know that we are connected. Then that is life.”

While running her own business for almost 3 decades, Neslyn worked as a non-executive director for NHS for over 21 years including 10 years as Chairman of NHS Kingston. During her appointment at Kingston  Primary Care Trust, she had to make tough decisions. She dissolved the existing board which left the Trust with a £21,000,000 deficit and created a £5,000,000 surplus within two years. 

This month we celebrate Neslyn’s 70th Birthday and while she posted “ I  am very happy in my garden and 70 years young” I wonder who are the seeds she is planting in her garden of Love and Kindness

Here is just a short collection of the quotes we collected from her esteemed clients.

“I have known Dr Neslyn for the past 3 years, and during this time she has coached and guided me through key aspects of my personal and professional development and helped me on the road to becoming the type of leader that I have always aspired to be. She is a true inspiration and I cannot imagine a life where she is not there to support me “

Cheryl Avery, Ministry of Justice

“Neslyn’s deep knowledge, experience and huge heart has transformed my leadership and career journey. With her challenge and support my development fast forwarded and my courage to be honest with myself and others has escalated.   That’s not to say it’s easy or comfortable, but that’s key to the process. I can honestly say I have never met anyone like Neslyn, her unique and holistic style is a revelation to me.” 

Dr Helen Carrier, Department for International Trade, UK

“I feel blessed to have met Neslyn who is a true inspiration helping me to make sense of my confused career trajectory. In her own unique way she has helped to simplify my thoughts and given me the confidence to take the steps that I need to move forward.  I will always remember her advise to “focus on the legacy you wish to leave behind”.

Sarah Dazie, HR Business Partner, Cabinet Office, UK

“I didn’t know what to expect when I first met Dr. Neslyn. But I was bowled over by her bold, energetic, bright and driven approach. Her enthusiasm was infectious and just encouraged me to be an even better version of myself from our first encounter.  Dr. Neslyn has challenged me to think differently about my leadership, encouraged me to set my aspirations higher and not to accept the status quo; for which I am extremely thankful.  She is is excellent executive coach who is a pleasure to work with – I leave each coaching session imbued with confidence and strengthened resolve”.

Gary Badley, Ministry of Justice, UK

“I have known and worked with Neslyn in various capacities for 15 years. Neslyn is a very special person. She has an amazing ability to understand people coupled with an ability to help them achieve their potential while taking them on a journey which may not be easy – but she stays with you. Neslyn has integrity that many are envious of and operates to the highest ethical and moral standards.”

Baroness Debbie Stedman-Scott

“I have been lucky enough to meet this wonderful human being some 3 years ago. Since then she has been my rock. Never I I experience such powerful words of encouragement. Giving of herself with sincerity and integrity. The demands of my industry left me needing that special interest. I call her the think tank. Full of answers and solutions. Wisdom beyond expectations. Dr. Neslyn Watson-Druee is all you will need to show you how to move forward achieve and deliver at any level. The Phoenix newspaper owes a great deal to this teacher and the excellence in service she has given to the development of the business”.

Marcia McLaughlin, F.Birm.Soc Editor in Chief, The Phoenix newspaper

“Dr Neslyn, is a phenomenal coach, she operates with both insight and foresight and is able to get to the crocks of the issues very quick. She both challenges and encourages me to make the right the decisions regarding my career and future without telling me what to do. What I find unique about Dr Neslyn is she utilises a holistic approach to coaching tapping into both the spiritual, natural, emotional and rational aspects of my experiences to prod me in the best way for me and my situation. Dr Neslyn is a truly generous and gracious humble coach and always has a fresh different approach at looking at things from a strategic as well as immediate perspective. I deem it privilege and an honour to name her as my executive coach.”

Dr Joan Myers OBE, Associate Director for Health Services

“Neslyn is a consummate professional and has been of great service to me at critical career moments.  I have sought her counsel and her wisdom to build, reenergize and discover new paths and purpose in the work that I do. Her considerable experience evokes thoughtful storytelling ideas, coupled with non-judgmental questioning.  This method gently guides and allows self- discovery of personal truths.  Neslyn is not afraid to combine very traditional and more experiential forms of coaching; delving into aspects of personal power, spirituality, energy and more routine cognitive learning approaches. Neslyn has leveraged her personal network of contacts (which is considerable) to stretch my thinking, make ideas tangible and further personal and commercial success.  She demonstrates selflessness and an understanding that I have seen in her work with me and which is gladly reciprocated in the people that she has introduced me to.  Each of them is pleased to help because of the association to Neslyn and because they wish to repay a past kindness to her. Her political awareness, formed through the rich career experience is finally to be commended.  She is adept in thinking through the levels of relationship in a situation and offering objective counsel. I have no hesitation in recommending her to you.” 

Chris Yates Founder, Director of People and Organisational Development at Caterpillar Inc

“I have had the absolute pleasure to work with Neslyn in 2017. She is an exceptional executive coach and our work together has been enlightening, inspirational and has had a profoundly positive impact for me. Neslyn has many, many skills but her signature strength is to truly understand what makes people tick and to develop self-awareness to enable them to achieve their greatest ambitions.”

Jessica McDarren, Trade Finance Director, Consumer Products Division UK- Ireland, L Oréal

“I found I was able to be quite honest with Neslyn, and immediately acknowledged that I was feeling resistant to coaching. It was clear she was not phased by this and I felt deeply accepted where I am. I have been looking for this level of acceptance for a long time, as it is one of my biggest challenges! Neslyn through her compassion, integrity and vision is able to see both the current challenges and the much bigger picture for my life, even when I am lost in an emotional or spiritual fog. It is very important to me to bring together spiritual depth and practical wisdom in the world and this is exactly where Neslyn shines. Neslyn addressed my mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing in a very effective and exciting way and I look forward to see how the journey unfolds. I have much more clarity now about the bigger picture and it is a matter of filling in the details and the steps on the path. Neslyn helped me to be clear that there is enormous potential and own my own power again.”

Sandra Gilfilan, Team Leader, Social Services

“As Maya Angelou once said, ‘Nothing can dim the light that shines from within’. Neslyn, you are the light and your light shines from deep within. For many years you have been a pioneer in the development of several training programmes, and some were focused on the minority groups, the first to be delivered.  You always gave more that the training required, you gave your- self. There are several very senior managers and leaders who have been able to fulfil their potential. Neslyn, the light still shines”. 

Maggie Stubbs, Glamford Associates

“Neslyn has been a very special  lady in my life.  I have known  her  for many years as a Tutor, Mentor and a soul sister. She has enabled my personal and professional development.  A great influencer across various arenas in business but particularly in the public sector. She is a great listener and adviser. Who has listened to me without judgement and enabled me to overcome many challenges. She has the special ability to ignite the spark within.”

Jo Thanki, Director, MJ Consultancy

“February 15th 2015 was one of the most significant experiences in my life. I spent the day with Dr. Neslyn Watson-Druée. It was a one on one coaching session with her to help me with identifying my strong areas as well as to facilitate in identifying what am I supposed to further achieve in my life. The very rigorous process of meditation was helpful in going down into some of the deeper issues and bring it to surface. One of the issues that I had been carrying with myself for the last 7 years was surfaced and very professionally handled and guided through the healing process. Connecting the discussion with the future plans Neslyn encouraged me to put down my ideas in a pictorial form to put down my broader vision /bigger picture. Through this process I was led to put down some key strategic interventions and identify some of the major hindering factors. During the discussion she also kept sharing the resources on Leadership. I will never forget the day and it will play a pivotal role in my personal life and leadership journey. Special gratitude to Dr. Neslyn for her time, humility, integrity & love which has given me a sense of direction for my life. It was a powerful experience. This will also enable me to positively influence people around me.”

Minhas Tejani, Principal, Jaffery Academy Mombasa

“There are a few people I can look back at over the years who I can honestly say have always been there for me. Neslyn is top of that list. Neslyn brings a whole new meaning to the word integrity, and it is this particular personal quality that I value in her so much. She is especially skilful at getting people to think and look closely at their inner self, not easy to do but she does this in such a way that it makes you want to take more ownership of self. She is arguably one of the most trusted individuals I know and truly stands up for what she believes in. It goes without saying she a true professional in all she does and a clear strategic thinker whose wise words one would be foolish to ignore. I came across this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt… The FUTURE belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their DREAMS… It reminds me of Neslyn”.

Ursula Ward

“Neslyn is an inspiration for her ability to detect and develop the potential of everyone who is lucky enough to work with her as a colleague or to know her as a friend. As a mentor she is forthright but tactful, honest but kind. There are many health professionals now in leadership positions who owe her a debt of gratitude for the way in which she has brought out the very best in them. She is the most loyal of friends, generous to a fault, excellent company – and a great cook too.”

Linda Thomas, Former Editor in Chief, RCN Publications

“Everybody needs some like Neslyn in their life. She is serene, strong, courageous and successful – everything that I have seen put to good use through her actions. Always thoughtful and generous of spirit, Neslyn has achieved extraordinary things in her life yet she remains humble and grounded. I adore her, admire her and respect her – I’ve learnt so much from her and I’m blessed to have her in my life.”

Arti Halai

“Neslyn is a very special person who has, over many years, inspired me to become the person that I want to be.  To be ambitious from the heart, to live my true purpose and be a role model.  I will always be grateful for the leadership coaching that Neslyn has shown me and the friendship we have developed.  I wish Neslyn a wonderful 70th birthday. “

Caroline Carroll

When The Almighty created His special people, He told His angels:  Come, bow down to these special people who I will make them go through some special trials and tribulations. When His Angels asked Him how could He as the Most Compassionate and the Most Merciful allow for such strenuous times to befall on His special people? He said: “I will carry them through that.”  So His angels asked, what if they needed more. He responded I will create mothers.  They ,the Almighty said, will be the support to my special people. Not satisfied with that answer,  His Angels said: “O the Most Majestic: what if mothers have been overtaken by a new life in Your Kingdom, what will happens to your special people?  Will they be abandoned on a boat with no sail? Will their boat capsize with no succour?  Will they drown in the sea of hopelessness with no support? What of Your Compassion, O You whose Name is a remedy for all maladies?  What of your mercy, O You whose Mercy extends to every creation be they believers or yet to believe in You? The Almighty smiled: Then, I will send Neslyn into their lives.  At that the Angels, bowing down to His creations said: “Truly they are worthy of this. You must  love these special people.”

Yasin Rahim, Hospital Inspector, South Central Care Quality Commission, Hospitals  Inspection Directorate

I meet Dr Neslyn Watson-Druee in 2002 through my involvement in the Black and Minority Ethnic Forum in the NHS Trust where I was employed as a Registered Nurse.We have cross paths on many occasions both professionally and personally. Neslyn helped me to define my skills and experience through the various personality tests. Her intuitive insight to my personality has helped me to open my doors to my skills and experience.

Neslyn allowed me to take the next step on the new journey I have embarked upon through changing my career. I did the One Command programme with her and I have free myself to my mantra of “I AM HAPPY!!! I AM FREE!!!”I can depend on her for sound advice and she shares my joy of success while praying and sending positive vibrations to me. I can say that it is much needed and appreciated. My love and prayers will be with her always for the deep, visionary and compassionate essence that she delivers to me. May God continue to bless and keep her healthy as she delivers HIS LOVE.

Anndeloris Chacon

Founder Dr Nani is the Founder of Sovereign Magazine. She is also Editor-in-Chief of Sovereign’s sister publication, Rich Woman Magazine. Passionately advocating for Social Edification, Dr Marina Nani is coining a new industry, MAKE THE NEWS ( MTN) with the aim to diagnose and close the achievement gap globally. Founder of RICH WOMAN SOCIETY™ Marina believes that there is a genius ( Stardust) in each individual, regardless past and present circumstances; “not recognising the talent in each individual, leaves our society at loss. Sharing the good news makes a significant difference on your perception about yourself, your industry and your community.”

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