From unfit and lonely struggling for recognition to Senior Leader
Mark, Creative Director
Mark is a senior leader at a large institution in the NW. When we first met I asked Mark what mattered to him in life, and he said ‘work’. Mark was very unfit, almost 6 stone overweight; he had no social life, was addicted to social media and was very lonely. At work he was unhappy, with significant friction in most of his key working relationships. He was angry with his immediate boss, and struggled to achieve recognition.
Over several years of coaching Mark’s life changes almost beyond recognition. We focused on his whole life rather than his work life, helping him to live authentically as his true self. His relationship with his boss improved beyond recognition, and his team’s morale went up significantly becoming a very high performing group. I worked with Mark and his team to help them develop their purpose and to understand each other better. As the coaching journey progressed, Mark became much more relaxed and at the same time more effective, achieving the recognition which had previously eluded him was much happier and this was noted. He was promoted to a position of greater responsibility, and selected for a senior Director appointment.
The CEO who switched micro-management for leadership
Pam, Chief Executive
Pam is the Chief Executive of a charity with workers in the UK and Africa, who attended one of my leadership courses – after which she asked for me to work with her as her coach. Pam was extremely ‘busy’, but often with comfort work – she involved herself in the management of detail, but struggled to lead the organisation. Within the organisation she struggled to exert a leadership effect, with a number of strong subordinates seeming to undermine her.
Over the course of several coaching sessions Pam learned to focus on leadership rather than management. Pam began to focus on building the right team, and having a leadership effect on her organisation. We worked through how she could exert the right sort of influence over difficult subordinates, and over time she managed to do so – becoming comfortable with he own right and indeed the requirement that she exert influence over others
From overcommitted, token leader to Head Teacher...
Gregg, Head Teacher
Gregg is a senior leader in a secondary school. When we first started working together Gregg was a Deputy Head Teacher, struggling to make an impact; in the shadow of a dominant Head teacher and a very effective fellow Deputy Head. Gregg felt very much like a token member of the senior leadership team. In his spare time Gregg felt overcommitted, and his life was out of balance; he was overweight, and had the beginnings of serious medical issues.
Following a framework of half-termly coaching sessions, Gregg is now a very successful Head Teacher – who leads a happy and dynamic school. Gregg has moved from being almost ‘unseen’, initially establishing his impact in the old team, and ultimately moving up to take over the headship. Gregg looks forward to coaching sessions, as they help him to prioritise and order his thinking. And he finds the element of leadership training that goes with my coaching sessions very useful, as it gives structure to our discussions. We focus a great deal on his role as a leader, and the need to stay out of the comfort zone of managing the detail. This is a common theme amongst senior leaders who have come through the ranks of their organisation.
What they say
“Neil is a superb speaker on a vast range of topics from developing engaging leadership & communication skills, staff motivation and driving home the values of your organisation, as well as one-to-one coaching.
His presentations are frequently brought to life using personal experience from his time leading troops on the front-line which makes for both a colourful and inspirational experience.
But don’t just take our word for it, delegates at recent forums have described Neil’s sessions as:
Really enjoyable presentation. Very engaging, warm & humble presenter, nice style.
Very thought provoking and useful session.
Excellent food for thought.
Best presentation I have ever seen.
Brilliant in every way”.
DIRECTOR OF LIBRARY AND STUDENT SERVICES UNIVERSITY OF CUMBRIA
“In education, we spend a great deal of time on national qualifications leading better understanding of educational tasks, but very little time on how to lead organisations in achieving it. Neil has helped me greatly in ensuring that the direction I have set is authentic, motivating and clear. This has enabled me to weather countless adversity in the first two years of headship and generated a community unified on our goal. Quite simply, he brings out the best in me which means my staff and children get even better.”
GROUP CORPORATE SERVICES DIRECTOR AT THE GO-AHEAD GROUP PLC
“I found Neil to be an excellent coach, mentor and team-builder. A real people-person, his warmth of character combine with his considerable intellect to produce excellent results through the development of teams and individuals.
He also has considerable range and is as effective and committed nurturing talent on small, niche projects as he is leading an enterprise engagement. Top drawer and a really nice bloke with it! ”
LEADERSHIP COACH, FACILITATOR & TRAINER
“I had the pleasure of co-facilitating with Neil a leadership offsite for senior leaders in higher education. I am impressed with Neil’s great capacity to be fully present to the group, expertly guiding the sessions towards insight and unwavering commitment to action.
He allows generous space and time for deep reflection, challenging boldly – and kindly – when needed, and relentlessly encouraging participants to own what emerges. I can clearly see where the trust he creates with his clients comes from.”
Gaynor Lewis MSc FInstLM
HEAD OF COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT AT THE INSTITUTE OF LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT
“I had the pleasure to work with Neil for 3 years while at The Leadership Trust. Neil is a professional and impactful facilitator, and great at Leadership Development.
He led an inspirational and effective day with over 100 sports managers from the Commonwealth Games Team Scotland to assist with the preparations for the local Games – building one team.
As well as running numerous ‘open’ leadership courses and using psychometrics to develop senior teams. He brings energy and a dedication to developing others that motivates them to achieve beyond their expectations. Thanks Gaynor ”
Dr Paul Irvine FCCT
SUPPORTING LEADERS IN THEIR DEVELOPMENT JOURNEY
“I have known and worked with Neil for a number of years. He has an impressive depth and breadth of experience, gleaned from a range of contexts over many years.
He is very much a people person, and has the ability to draw the best out of individuals in both whole group and 1:1 settings. Neil’s leadership development delivery is underpinned by a clear moral purpose – good leadership benefits the leader, the team and the organisation, and so it is in everyone’s interest for high quality leaders to be encouraged and nurtured. “
DIRECTOR AT LANCASTER UNIVERSITY (RETIRED)
“Neil has been working with Lancaster University for some time and is currently coaching one of my team.
He has been of significant help to the team member, has been easy for me to work with and has made good use both of psychometrics and his previous experience from the British Army. ”
FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR, SITRUS HR CONSULTING
“Neil’s focus and energy really challenged the team and their thinking, which when combined with his empathy and patience brought about a real step change in understanding and behaviours.”