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ONE YEAR ON…


Duncan is flying high with ActionCOACH T


eamwork and camaraderie are close to Duncan McKechnie’s heart. After spending most of his career as a pilot with the South African Air Force, these qualities were front


of mind when it was time to try something new. With his new Somerset-based ActionCOACH business, it’s these values that Duncan hails as the main factors for his success. “Launching a business in a pandemic didn’t come without looks of confusion from friends and family,” said Duncan. “But I knew it was right. From my very fi rst exposure to ActionCOACH, it was clear the entire network lives and breathes the company values, which align with my own.”


"The level of community, support and belonging was nothing I’d come across since working in the Air Force"


When he was fi ve, Duncan relocated back to


his parents’ roots in South Africa. At the age of 18, Duncan joined the Air Force after two years’ national service in the South African army, where he truly found a place of belonging, giving him valuable experience that would stand him in good stead for life’s challenges. During this time, in which he piloted for Nelson Mandela, he continued to value being part of a team, as well as developing many skills needed for the return to civilian life. When that time did come, Duncan tried to fi nd


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something that resonated with his focus on fellowship, seeing him take a role in business development in the aerospace industry. He had made the journey over to the UK at that point, settling in Barrington with his wife Rina, but something was still not quite hitting the mark. When the company went through the process of restructuring, he decided it was his opportunity to fi nd out what was missing in his life. “The restructuring made me reconsider everything. I


was only going to get older and, if I survived this round of redundancies, would I be so lucky the next time around? Rather than wait, I decided to do something about it, and that’s when I began looking for where I was able to place my transferrable skills. I went through several options, but ActionCOACH piqued my interest the most. So, I started exploring it even further.”


Ready for take-off Duncan had also spent a proportion of his career as a fl ight instructor, and it was this mentoring aspect that struck a chord upon fi nding ActionCOACH, as he knew how rewarding it was to help others achieve their goals. “If I could help other people succeed then it would


be extremely satisfying. The more I researched, the more it seemed like the perfect opportunity. It combined my past experience, my skills and the chance to give something back to the local community, making it a no-brainer.” Duncan booked onto the March 2020 training intake


at ActionCOACH University. Unbeknownst to him and his fellow franchise partners, their initial training was due to begin the day the UK went into lockdown due to the


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