How to Proactively Manage Your Career, with Executive Coach John Murphy

John Murphy is an executive coach who thrives on building winning teams and making the most out of his clients’ careers.  Today he talks about the fallacy of time management, why you need to win in the job you’re in, and why an Irishman living in France is helping clients in North Carolina.


Donald Thompson: Welcome to the Donald Thompson Podcast. I am very excited about today’s episode. We have International Business Executive Coach, Mr. John Murphy. John, welcome to the show.

John Murphy: Donald, it’s a great pleasure to be here and I’m looking forward to this. This will be fun.

Donald Thompson: It is absolutely going to be a big time. Before we jump into the topic around executive coaching and leadership development and training, I want the team to take a moment to get to know you a little bit. Where are you from, where you live, brothers and sisters, give a little background for–

John Murphy: Alright.

Donald Thompson: Us.

John Murphy: The surname, “Murphy” is a bit of a giveaway that I’m from Ireland. So, I mean, that’s done the accent as well; probably gives that away. So yes, born and bred in Dublin, I’m the youngest of five in the family and we’re all kind of scattered in different parts of the world. My eldest brother lives half the time in the U.S. and half time in Ireland, second oldest one lives full-time in Connecticut. My other sister lives in Dublin and my other sister lives in Madrid in Spain. So, and I live in the South of France.

But the background to me is that from a business perspective and from a professional’s perspective, I spent many years in the corporate world. I started my corporate world journey as rather ignominiously as a door-to-door salesman selling insurance , which was quite an experience. But great discipline.

I mean it actually, yeah, it did actually give great discipline, but I then, kind of over a number of years moved from being, you know, I got reasonably good at selling. And then of course, you know, what, organizations do is say, “Oh, you’re such a good salesman. You’ll become a good Sales Manager automatically.”

So I was made the Sales Manager. I discovered I didn’t automatically become a good Sales Manager. I actually became quite a poor Sales Manager at the initial stages. Because I thought being a Sales Manager was just a glorified salesperson’s job and discovered that it wasn’t. But eventually got to terms with that and then progressed from being a Sales Manager to Sales Director with a couple of different companies.

I was in financial services, was Marketing Director for a couple of companies. And the last proper job I had in the corporate world I was the CEO of a Pan-European Insurance group based in Ireland where we had initially started off with a life insurance company. And then we grew that business to have an online business, a wealth management business, and the third-party  administration business for a lot of European banks and also a finance company.

And, I left that 16 years ago and I set up John Murphy International to become an Executive Coach. And my focus is on Senior Executives and their teams. And that’s, that’s my focus. So that’s my very quick journey. And my kind of path to become an Executive Coach was I decided to when I got, you know, I did the CEO role for seven years. I’m being honest, Donald. I probably enjoyed four years of it. Really enjoyed four years of it. And then I began to feel, “You know what, I’m beginning to repeat myself.” And, and then the challenge was, “Well, do I go and become a CEO of another company?” Which I could have done.

And I thought, “Well, that’s just the same job with a different blazer on.”  And then I said, “Okay, so what is it that I really love doing?”

Full Episode Transcript

John’s Podcasts:
Winning Teams
A Life and a Living

The Donald Thompson Podcast is hosted by Walk West CEO, mentor, investor, and Diversity and Inclusion Consultant Donald Thompson.

Music for this episode provided by Jensen Reed from his song, “You Can’t Stop Me”.

The Donald Thompson Podcast is edited and produced by Earfluence. For more on how to engage your community or build your personal brand through podcasting, visit

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