What’s your background?
I’m an expert on transformational leadership, both personal and professional, and I inspire leaders to look beyond themselves when they make life and business decisions. I work with organisations and individuals who are driven to make an impact with what they do.
I’m a former international economist and policy adviser. For over twenty years I’ve been an adviser to governments and international organisations around the world. I’ve lived and worked in Africa, where I’ve designed and led global anti-poverty initiatives. I set up a micro-lending fund for women, worked for a policy think tank, consulted for the World Bank, the European Union and other governments and international organisations along the way.
I’ve had senior positions in the public sector, working alongside heads of government, politics, I’ve negotiated EU regulations, and headed up the strategic development of multi-billion-euro economic development funds. I’m also a best-selling author, mentor and highly-regarded trainer with over 22,000 students in my online training courses. I’ve been a tutor for the Guardian Masterclasses series, and I love to share my message with groups through talks and seminars.
I moved away from the world of politics in 2009 to become a strategist and leadership coach. I’ve trained as an executive coach and, more recently, as a Transformative and Advanced Transformative Coach. I’m on a life-long journey to deepen my understanding of human performance so that I can support individuals, influencers, policy-makers, politicians and heads of organisations at the highest level as they work to find solutions to the world’s economic and equality issues.
Today I mostly work one to one with those leaders and future leaders. I also write regularly, I speak to small groups and run seminars for organisations and companies. Rather than be the person who has all the answers, I now see my role as facilitating transformation in others — perhaps someone just like you — so that you can bring to life your vision of a better world.
My vision is to create a fairer world, one impact-driven leader at a time. I’d love to know more about yours…
What do you do now?
Now, it’s my greatest joy to coach others, especially one to one but also in teams or in groups. I believe that everyone has an unlimited potential and I am simply bringing it to life. Most of us never fulfil that potential because we either don’t believe we have it, or we find ways of blocking it, of slowing ourselves down or shrinking our vision to something that feels ‘acceptable’.
But why? Humans have done amazing things and the people who do that are no different than you and I. All it takes to unlock that potential in someone is for them to see what’s possible and to expand their understanding of how the mind works and how human experience is created. From that foundation, I love to support people to dream bigger, to do the things that, when said outloud, might scare you, or, more likely, cause someone else to look in awe.
I spend most of my time coaching and training with individuals and groups. I also write and I run seminars online and in person. I co-chair the +Acumen London Impact Circle, which is a gathering of impact investors passionate about tackling global poverty. I’m most inspired when I work with people and organisations who are driven by making an impact. I also present regularly at The RSA coaching network and other forums where people who are passionate about positive change gather and discuss ideas and creating a better world.
I’ve worked for many years at a senior level in government public policy, and I understand that world intimately. But I don’t work exclusively in that world. Anyone can create change, anyone has the capacity to do great things, to reach beyond the ‘self’ and to step into a bigger vision. Those are my people.
How can people hire you?
Well, the first step is always a conversation. We don’t know each other and any work we do together has to be a fit for both of us. I work with clients who are committed to the transformation; who know that there is an easier way to achieve what they want. Who sense that high performance is possible for everyone, to be bold and to act even when it feels difficult or uncomfortable; people who do what is right, not what is expedient. For me, that comes from discovering how to see the world differently because, when that happens, the world changes. We don’t know what that could look like for you until we talk so drop me a note through the contact page and let’s start a conversation.
Tell us some personal stuff!
People ask about things like personal challenges and for me they usually involve something outdoors. I was recently in the Himalayas, trekking to Annapurna Base Camp. When I lived in Africa I walked the length of the Fish River Canyon in Namibia. Sleeping out, snakes and scorpions for company. I know it’s not for everyone but it’s in those moments under the stars, or in nature, that we really know who we are and why we’re here. It’s one of those times when we really feel the connection to something bigger than ourselves.
I also learned to surf a couple of years ago. Crazy moments and definitely embarrassing for my teenagers. Yes, it was hard work. And yes I spent a lot of time in the water. But there were moments of sheer joy. Being on the water, wave after wave, just you and the ocean, is incomparable. Definitely ranks as one of the most challenging and most peaceful experiences ever.
And it’s this same transformation I want for people I work with. To see ourself differently so that we see the world differently. And to achieve something that, at first, seems impossible but suddenly feels ‘normal’. It creates the most incredible feeling of fulfilment and joy.
I love to connect with people. I have a knack for seeing what’s inside, that kernel of something that everyone has — their potential for genius. My children laugh at me because I’ll stop and talk to anyone; well, I say laugh but it’s sheer embarrassment on their part!
And when the talking is done, I like to know that change will follow. I’m a bold decision-maker and I’m always up for action.
It sounds a little cheesy but my ambitions today are to help people understand they are bigger than their thoughts, that they have more potential than they imagine, and that they can make a bigger difference than they dream possible. We can create a better world. In fact, it’s our obligation.
Because it’s the right thing to do.