About our Founder
Dr Adrian Nelson-Pratt BVSc DipCoaching MIOEE MRCVS
Adrian is a professional coach, speaker, writer, entrepreneur, business owner and veterinary surgeon with nearly 25 years’ experience in the veterinary profession. He has been coaching and training teams for over 15 years.
He brings significant commercial and marketing expertise to any project, with 10 years of management experience at Hill’s Pet Nutrition and Colgate Palmolive.
Recognised as a thought leader in the veterinary industry and, alongside Emerge Coaching, running his own business consultancy in the veterinary industry, he has been invited to speak at numerous international seminars, events, Universities and company programmes.
How does a vet become a professional coach, business leader and consultant?
‘I trained at the University of Bristol Veterinary School, graduating in 1995. I joined a busy small animal practice in DH Lawrence country and had a great grounding in how to be a small animal vet.
Three years on, I realised I needed to explore different clinics and learn new things; things not taught at veterinary school in the nineties, such as business skills, communication skills, team-working, mentoring and leadership.
So I worked in different types of clinics and tried a spell as a locum too but struggled to find the kind of clinic I could see myself working in long term. With the benefit of hindsight, I can now say that I had reached a point of total burnout and disengagement with the profession, verging on depression. In 2001, as a last-ditch attempt to ‘get out’ I applied for a Veterinary Business Advisor job at Hill’s Pet Nutrition, a division of Colgate.
Hill’s Pet Nutrition saved my veterinary career and stopped my destructive cycle.
More by luck than design I found a business whose vision and values aligned with my own. I found structure, purpose and support that enabled me to flourish and grow, with a profound effect on my psychological health, family and relationships.
Then – catastrophe! In 2004 whilst snowboarding in Austria, I suffered a slipped disc and was faced with a significant amount of time recovering. I avoided surgery and discovered the joys of yoga and pilates as part of my rehab, spending sixteen weeks off work. At the time my job involved visiting clinics across the UK, driving over 50,000 miles a year. This was not unsustainable with my back injury and so whilst I was recovering, I contemplated my options, including leaving Hill’s, starting a business or going back to clinic, which I couldn’t face. It forced me to re-evaluate and re-frame where I was.
The solution became moving to head office and embarking on ten years of career progression through the Hill’s business. I started as the office technical vet, becoming veterinary affairs manager in 2008. I was responsible for Hill’s presence at professional shows and congresses and led a team of vets, nurses and managers in delivering the professional programmes. Following that, a short stint as key account manager led to five years as Customer Development Director for the veterinary channel in the UK and Ireland.
I learned leadership skills, how to manage a team and, with a tremendous senior leadership team in the UK and European business, learned commercial and business management skills. My time at Hill’s taught me the power of a strong company culture, of core values backed by a strong performance mindset and how a business that values people can be critical in personal development.
And that’s where my coaching journey began, alongside Colgate colleagues on Colgate-Palmolive training programmes. I realised that my interest lay not only in making a business perform, but how people are any company’s greatest asset and how to help them achieve great things. Coaching and mentoring can open doors to untapped skills, un-imagined performance and the ability to succeed at anything you turn your mind to.
When Hill’s decided to relocate their office, I decided to strike out on my own and build my own business. Initially a business consultancy, I trained with The Coaching Academy, gaining my Coaching Diploma in 2018 and launching Emerge Coaching soon afterwards.
Coaching is goal led, believing in the infinite resourcefulness of the coaching client. I take enormous joy in watching my clients achieve their dreams, change their lives and find happiness. I’d love to coach you too.’