My experience over the past two decades is that coaching works best when you know something significant about the personality of the individual and how they actually operate as a leader. The key is that there are many different ways of leading. Finding out what will work best for each individual – and their particular situation – is the essential starting point for the coach. Without this you are essentially ‘flying blind’. My own expertise as a qualified pschometrician tells me that coaching needs to be informed by objective inputs and have a structured approach.

Contemporary coaching is based on the same fundamentals: careful analysis; building of trust; a clear plan for personal growth. But the pace is quicker: short, focussed programmes are much more the norm. And, the international dimension – being able to work comfortably and effectively across and within different cultures – has become a pre-requisite for many senior positions.

My background in Economics and Statistics took me first into the CBI and then local government. Subsequently, I became a consultant, operating across financial services, information technology, utilities and off-shore construction. Much of my career has been about the development of managers and leaders, often within the context of major organisational change. I also helped set up Worldwork Ltd, a specialist in cross-cultural diagnostics, with clients across the Globe. In my home city of Bath I am active as a Justice of the Peace.