The story of MRA


The story of MRA

If you would value learning more about the personal story of Matthew Radley and the creation of our organisation, please read on…..

Every life has a story; and every organisation is made up of the lives of those who created it.

My life, like many, has been full of insights, discovery, and self-awareness, as well as loss, emotional challenge and significant personal change. It’s not always easy to be vulnerable and to share your story openly yet this has been an enabler for me on my journey to self-acceptance, and so I hope it inspires others to find the same within themselves.

From my early years being brought up in a small village in Cornwall, without a permanent father figure around, and with a passion for literature and the stage, I always knew I was different from my friends. I spent years trying to please others desperately hoping they would accept me….but they rarely did; and why should they? For I surely hadn’t learned to accept myself.

I left Cornwall for University in London aged 18 where I studied English and Theatre, and more importantly had my eyes opened to the world in all its diversity….and loved every minute! I learned the importance of ‘difference’ and the joy that comes from it; I learned the importance of independence and the determination that comes from it; and I learned the importance of self-acceptance and the power that comes from it. I learned a lot about myself, the world I lived within, and the world I wanted to create for myself. I chose not to return to Cornwall.

Fast forward 15 years, meeting my wife, having our three daughters, and enjoying a career in HR and L&D, a colleague tapped me on the shoulder and suggested I go on a course to learn about ‘Coaching’. “OK” I said. On day 1 delegates were asked what they knew about coaching….my answer was short “It’s all new to me I’m afraid but I’ll give it a go”.

‘New’ turned out to be a fundamental turning point in my life. From having enjoyed a career based on ‘learned behaviours’ I realised the importance of purposeful work. And coaching for me is the most purposeful capability I could use to realise my potential, and so the journey began.

From creating an organisation of 1, then 2, then, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, etc, things turned out well from a new business perspective. Yet along the way the devastating impact of losing my father suddenly to leukaemia, suffering hearing loss, two brain haemorrhages and strokes, a couple of bouts of depression, and a global pandemic, only made me even more determined to achieve what I knew was possible.

And the power of revisiting my life values, framing them through the lens of positive intention ‘towards values’ rather than ‘away from’ gave me clarity and energy to continue building the business, brand and global client portfolio that we are so grateful for today.

Making a difference and purpose – showing up brilliantly and consciously making a purposeful difference. Doing good in the world

Positivity – seeing the light; actively looking for the positive in all scenarios. Holding a positivity bias

Friendship, collaboration and kindness – the power of great relationships; in it together. Giving myself to others

Equality – we are all equal. Adult/Adult. Respect and be respected. Stand up for what I believe in and step into the space

Balance – making conscious choices for the long term and for the whole of me. Everything in balance. Enjoy the journey

Recognising the need for a set of guiding values in my own life bleeds though into the Purpose and Vision, Mission and Values of Matthew Radley & Associates. These references define the experience of our clients and associates, our partners and suppliers, and the world around us. From being ‘the leading light for Executive Coaching globally, setting the standards for the profession’ to championing DEI, neurodiversity and bringing inclusion to life in our work, and to making a sustainable and significant difference to the world through B-Corp.

And where will the journey take us from here? No one knows. All we can do is stay true to our values and our sense of purpose, to listen to the world and the people around us, and to ensure that we all continue to make the greatest possible difference to our clients – for that is where we, and I myself, truly come to life.

This is my life. This is my story. This is the story of MRA.


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