Meet Anne Cotterell, Founder of Parents Leading – moving parents from surviving to thriving in work and family

Meet Anne Cotterell, Founder of Parents Leading – moving parents from surviving to thriving in work and family

We’re thrilled that Anne Cotterell, Founder of Parents Leading and Leadership Expert Development Coach has joined the Hornsby Chamber of Commerce community. Anne is a local start-up from the Berowra area, whose business supports and empowers parents to thrive in family and work. Through specialist programs, parents move from reactive survivor to resourceful thriver, becoming role models that grow resilient, thriving kids.

As a new member, we caught up with Anne to find out more about her business and how she supports her customers.

Why did you start your business?

I believe that parents are our most influential leaders, and raising children in our increasingly disconnected and digital world is more complex than ever before. Our past ways of parenting and leading are no longer adequate in today’s pace of change. Most of us parent from unconscious habits and conditioning developed from our own childhood. I call this parenting on autopilot because unless we become aware of this conditioning it controls how we parent rather than giving ourselves the conscious choice to parent the way we desire. We need a more self-aware and authentic approach to parenting and leading, one that facilitates greater presence, connection and choice to respond resourcefully in the moment rather than reactively from our past conditioned upbringing. By parenting from this place, we instil in our children, the self-confidence, self-sufficiency and self-esteem they need to thrive in our increasingly disconnected and digital world. I started Parents Leading to offer a new approach to parenting, one that focuses on developing parents as leaders in work, family and relationships, by helping parents gain deeper self-awareness and understanding so they can parent the way they desire and shine bright in their career.

What’s the story behind it, if any?

I’ve spent decades leading in the corporate world, navigating the challenges of raising two boys whilst working an executive leadership role. I know what it’s like to be on the hamster wheel, feeling stressed, chaotic and exhausted. I’ve recognised my own challenges with boundaries and overcommitting myself, and I know what it’s like to feel failure and guilt trying to juggle competing family and career commitments.

I’ve also experienced the courage it takes to see my flaws, to gain a deeper self-awareness by understanding my conditioned habits. Doing this has given me the awareness to make healthier choices and back myself with confidence to authentically parent and lead the way I desire. I’m now more empowered and intentional in my parenting and I’ve created a sustainable rhythm that balances both family and career.

What I’ve come to realise as a working parent is that leadership development is not just for executives. What I’ve learnt through my own self-awareness and development as a leader has had a profound impact on my parenting.

I want parents to experience the confidence, empowerment and fulfilment that I’ve embraced through this journey, so I’m taking what I’ve learned and I’m bringing the latest leadership, coaching and personal development frameworks to the context of parenting, to develop parents as leaders in family, work and relationships.

What are the benefits of using your product or services?

Clients develop the self-awareness, skill-sets and mind-sets to thrive in both parenting and career. Because how we think and feel – the stories we tell ourselves (our inner game), control what we say and do (our outer game), sustainable behaviour change can only come from a deeper awareness of our ‘inner game’. Clients working with me gain the following benefits:

  • Clarity on how you desire to parent and what gets in your way
  • Adapting to your child’s growth transitions and changing needs
  • Access resourceful communication that your child will respond to
  • Establishing healthy boundaries and making healthy choices
  • Developing your childs self-sufficiency by owning and balancing your power
  • Building unconditional self-esteem in your child and yourself
  • Letting go of unconscious patterns to parent the way you desire
  • Understand yourself in ways that nurture your strengths
  • Role-model emotional awareness to encourage your child’s emotional development
  • Create deep connections by having courageous conversations and managing conflict positively
  • Encouraging a growth mindset to build you and your child’s self-confidence
  • Understand and manage anxiety

What parents learn when working with me can be applied to both the workplace and family context.

How do you help your customers?

I help facilitate outcomes for my clients using a variety of approaches as follows:

  • One-one-one developmental coaching (executive, leadership, parenting and career)
  • Leadership Development Programs including, Parents Leading Program, Leadership Development days, Enneagram Self-Discovery Retreats, Return to Work accelerators for working parents. These programs can be delivered as face-to-face or experiential interactive live online. All programs incorporate a unique combination of group coaching, interactive break-out groups and forum discussions, Enneagram personality profile and a discovery workbook.
  • Group coaching circles (Leadership, parenting)

What is unique about you and your business?

My breadth of experience both as a working parent, executive leader and my expertise as a developmental coach means I bring a holistic approach to parenting. My approach recognises the interdependence of the many contexts in which we parent and seeks to address the challenges parents face in each of these. Using my experience I am able to offer a unique combination of contemporary and evidence-based leadership, personal development and developmental coaching frameworks to parents.

The foundation of my work is to develop parents as leaders in family, work and relationships and in doing so create role-models that facilitate the growth and well-being of our next generation.

Why are you passionate about your area of work or your business?

Because parenting has the greatest potential to make a difference to the well-being and connectivity of both our future generations and the environment in which they live. By growing ourselves as parents we inevitably grow our future generation and generations to come.

How do you keep yourself (if it is only you) or your team motivated?

By doing what I love and loving what I do.

Why do you love being a local business in the Hornsby Region?

I love the sense of community and connectivity, which I see as a hub for innovation, creative thinking and challenging the status quo.

Why are you a Member of the Hornsby Chamber?

To support and connect with the small business community in a way that grows us and nurtures our passions.

Why do you think small businesses are so important to the local communities and Australian economy?

Because they are the hub of innovative thinking and challenging the status quo. They role-model resilience, passion and persistence and demonstrate how to harness collective wisdom.

Who inspires you and why?

I would say my kids because they show me so effortlessly the mirror into myself – they are my greatest teachers of me. They remind me that nothing matters more than being who we are, not needing to be who we think we need to be.

For more information or to book yourself on one of these amazing programs, visit: