An inner-city classroom, a dusty street in Nairobi, a plush executive boardroom: in each of these I’ve witnessed what happens when individuals start to see themselves as leaders. And I’ve been astounded every time. Good leadership really does come in all shapes and sizes, and it exists in all kinds of places.
I’ve known for over a decade that performance depends on people having a sense of purpose, value, belonging and responsibility. The insight came following my MBA when I was crunching my way through dry business strategies all aimed at improving performance but neglecting the ‘performers’. To me it was clear that the targets would never be met and that no change could be sustainable if you didn’t put people at the heart of your strategy.
It was this insight that lead me to switch from business strategy at Accenture to focus on leadership and development. I went on to learn an incredible amount from senior Organisational Effectiveness roles with RBS, Merrill Lynch and Bank of America and also through qualifying as an executive coach. After a decade of challenging and very rewarding corporate work, I decided to start my own business focused on leadership development and to work with any organisation where I felt I could make a real difference and help them make one too.
“The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands but in seeing with new eyes.”
Since then I’ve continued to work with organisations including Prudential, CBRE, Barclays, EMI Music, The Riverside Company, NewDay, Nuffield Health, PartnerRe, The African Governance Initiative and the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, as well as running leadership development programmes in a number of schools (e.g. within academy chains like United Learning and The Harris Federation). I am also a director of Emerging Leaders, a not-for-profit organisation that exists to bring tangible hope to the world’s most vulnerable communities, by teaching timeless leadership principles that create sustainable change and helpcommunities thrive.
What clients say they value in my work is my ability to generate a shared purpose within teams and organisations so that people feel able and inspired to take responsibility for their own performance and that of their organisation. What individuals value is the honest support I give them in identifying their strengths, understanding their weaknesses, and building the self-belief and skills to use those strengths to change things in their lives and to support and inspire others to do the same.