The coffee-shop surgery

Whilst working in Corporate Marketing & Strategy, some of my friends, who were also business leaders, were having a tough time and asked for advice.

Wanting to help, I’d offer to meet over a coffee to offer support where I could.

As the conversations flowed and the pastries disappeared, it became clear that they were carrying quite a burden, and to top it off not succeeding despite working lots of hours.

They were frustrated because they weren’t getting to where they wanted to be.  I’d hear comments like….

"I’m Working Very Hard But Not Getting Very Far.

We Are Winning Business But Not Making More Money.

I Feel Tired And Burnt Out.

It’s Tough To Keep All The Plates Spinning.

We Could Do With More Business."

In a nutshell

These were great people, trying hard, who were at the front of their businesses expressing a shared need for help to get clarity and direction.

Although they were all service sector leaders in different markets, a common theme came through loud and clear.

Boiling it down, it was “I don’t have answers, but they are in here somewhere.”

And in that, the foundations of The Leader’s Diagnostic were laid.

Why I wanted to help

"I Don’t Have Answers, But They Are In Here Somewhere"

I’d been there and I’d had to face up to things like this many times.

I knew what they were going through.

Having founded several service businesses and managed fairly large teams, I knew what it was like to lead when it got tough.

My first business was in IT systems implementation and training.  I’ve always loved tech and when the opportunity came to founding a digital web agency for a global advertising network, I loved the challenge.

It was the early days of the internet, no-one was quite sure of the blueprint, so we had to get creative and built a good business, with one client taking us ‘global’.

The internet loomed ever larger which led me to the dot com boom (you had to be there) and to raising significant investment in the London capital market for my own dot com.

That was a fun day.


It’s not always a walk in the park

But the dot com failed, and my dream of internet glory, along with the dreams of thousands of others, evaporated overnight in the stock market crash of 2000.

That was a really, really, really tough day, week, month, year.

The ups and downs of a leader….

Taking a breath, I worked internationally, running a large group of talented advertising people launching products for global brands you may well know.

That was fun, particularly the filming days.

When my ad-man days were done, I moved into a senior role in Corporate Marketing & Strategy. Lots of thinking, planning, executing, relationship building, reviewing, refining, and success on a European level.

That was fun too, but maybe once you’ve done your own thing, I guess you can’t rest until you do it again.

So, I did.

And the sum total of my knowledge, learnings, experience, and empathy was poured into what has become The Leader’s Diagnostic.

Leadership is personal

I knew that most help available was focused on business challenges, like markets, sales, finance, product development; there’s lots of them.

But the comments I was hearing were highly personal reactions to business situations.

the comments I was hearing began with “I” or “We”

It became clear that to truly help leaders to move through challenges, both business AND personal factors had to be considered.

The early version of the Dynamic Diagnostic Process was designed to include those business and personal situations, giving leaders a more complete perspective on the challenges they faced.

Because in the case of the leader, the personal factors so often drive the professional outcomes.

Leadership is personal, and including personal factors makes a truly tangible difference.

What it feels like to help people through challenges

The short answer is extremely gratifying.

The people that I help have acknowledged their difficulty and that becomes the start point of our relationship.

For this reason, trust and confidentiality is the bedrock of our work together.

This is so important as sometimes there are things that need facing that are yet to be faced, which can be uncomfortable but necessary for progression.

There have been numerous times when having broken through the discomfort, massive progress has been made.

So I feel it’s a privilege and a pleasure to work with people who are ambitious and are looking to create a brighter future for them and their business.

Leaders need positive outcomes

The Leader’s Diagnostic process has contributed to transformational outcomes: –

  • Taking profitability from 3% to 21%
  • Expanding globally, opening new markets
  • Upselling and establishing premium price points by 300%
  • £10,000,000+ in leader exits
  • Finding a CEO and managing succession planning
  • Getting cash flow and finances stable and solid
  • Repositioning to address more sophisticated markets
  • Supporting leadership through business sale and exit

These are just a few examples of how The Leader’s Diagnostic service has worked for leaders in creating movement and increased fulfilment.

For some clients, the relationship has continued over several years, for others less than a month.

With The Leader’s Diagnostic, it’s the outcome, not the process, that counts.

Story footnote:

Remember those coffee-session leaders eating all the pastries?

Well, coincidentally, some of those very first frustrated leaders became founding clients, writing their own success story.

Which is massively satisfying and hugely motivating.

Supporting leaders and seeing development in ways big and small, personal, and organisational, is the mission of The Leader’s Diagnostic.



Here are some of the leaders we’ve worked with. Different businesses and different challenges but a with common desire to find their answers.

What Clients Say

“My business had grown to a decent level over the years but I couldn’t see a way of growing it further and I felt I needed inspiration and external help.

The Leader’s Diagnostic services have helped me see my way through and to drive for the growth I really wanted.”

— Sarah B.



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