Samantha West

Samantha began building an intentional life plan at age 15 when she made the decision to leave her parents in rural England and move to the bright lights of Toronto, Canada – and experienced profound and unexpected culture shock in the process! Since then she has worked herself through university and graduate school and had the chance to experience many different jobs, working environments and people in the process. Never one to choose the easy road in spite of its comforts, Samantha is always looking for work and personal situations that allow her to express herself more fully and make a positive contribution to those around her.

Samantha has an interesting bag of tools that she brings to the coaching relationship: formal education including graduate courses in counselling and leadership; practical training in the Co-Active Coaching curriculum and MBTI™ certification; and ten years of work experience in communications, national recruiting and skills development for a Fortune 500 company, and career counselling. She is passionate about the potential of every individual and helping others to find a place in life where they can truly shine. She is also happy to be a wife and mother to two young and quite possibly overly energetic children.

Top 5 favorite movies?

Gandhi, Dead Poet’s Society, Airplane, Bridget Jones’ Diary, and really any movie that is based on a true story of an inspirational leader overcoming great odds for the greater good, movies such as Mississipi Burning for example.

If you could be a character from Star Wars, who would you be and why?

My husband is a big Star Wars fan and affectionately refers to me as an Ewok because I’m short and cute and less aerodynamic than the more nimble characters. I aspire to become more like Princess Leah, which would take a lifetime of focused hair growth as well as a passionate belief in my purpose and a determination to fight and persevere no matter what life throws at me.

What’s your favorite thing to do on a hot summer day?

I love going to the beach or playground and watching my children making large messes that I don’t actually need to clean up, followed by picnics or BBQs topped off with lashings of ice cream for dessert. I’m also in love with the sailing life so I try to volunteer as crew when possible – there’s nothing like the sound of the wind in the sails and the sun on your face and the beauty of the water.

What’s your most endearing quality?

I’m very enthusiastic, like a small puppy in fact, and oh so very idealistic.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I am a dreamer and I always dreamed big. I was going to be a famous actress, a high-risk international journalist, a key member of the Foreign Service, a volunteer in the streets of India alongside Mother Theresa, or a distinguished professor.

What’s your opinion of mincemeat pie?

I love mincemeat pie, it’s really such a delicious option compared to others I was offered as a child, specifically Steak and Cow Heel pie or a nice bit of tripe, slut and wessle (a smorgasbord of intestine).

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

I’m not sure about my biggest peeve, I think I collect them along with pet hobbies. I’m very passionately against people who are purposefully mean or seem to even enjoy abusing their positions in some way, all the way down to the small peeves like why some people seem to feel the indicator light is optional when turning or changing lanes.

What’s your all time favorite song?

I’m very cheesy when it comes to music, I like disco and some classic pop and then songs like “I need a hero” which I’m almost embarrassed to admit but it’s got a great beat. The beat is very important to me, I like to feel like I can spin and dance around the house, and I’m nostalgic for songs that remind me of different times and places in my life and evoke emotion for me.

Name your fantasy car

Fully restored sky-blue convertible VW Beetle, preferably pre 1970s. I used to own a 1968 VW camper van and took it around the US and Mexico, albeit mostly on the back of tow trucks rather than under its own steam because it was always breaking down, but fun nonetheless.

Have you ever hung wallpaper?

Yes, it’s very tough but the patterns are beautiful and the effect is amazing, and I can always beg and plead with my much taller husband to help.

What do you have a tendency to buy in bulk?

I’ll buy in bulk if it makes sense, like juice packs or some meat on sale, but usually I don’t like a lot of stuff or clutter and prefer buying more fresh and more frequently. Someone gave me a deep freezer a couple of years ago and although I loved the idea I never actually put anything in it and eventually gave it to someone else. I’m in awe of other people’s bulk-buying and bargain-hunting but it’s just not me.

What’s your favorite time of day?

I really enjoy Sunday afternoons after church and lunch when I sometimes go for a relaxing nap or otherwise laze away the afternoon playing games with my kids and just hanging out.

What TV or movie star did you have a wicked crush on when you were a kid?

Oh I loved Ralph Macchio from Karate Kid and of course Michael J. Fox from Back to the Future, and I dreamed of interviewing Wayne Gretsky and having him fall in love with me instantly.

Did you ever sell anything door to door?

Oh yes, and telemarketing as well, and I was quite terrible at both of them. I had to try and explain to people why it would benefit them to change from their current gas company, but I couldn’t really pressure them (no pun intended) so I rarely closed the deal. Plus I felt terrible about interrupting people in the evenings during their time to relax so I expect I had a rather apologetic aura about me right out of the gate.