Our Passionate Team
Founder and leadership lead
Mark Soden is a Performance Coach specialising in Leadership, Team and Individual development. He has a proven track record in delivering Leadership programmes to coaches, managers and teams in many Olympic and professional sports along with Senior Management in Global Multinational Organisations.
An ex-professional rugby player with Northampton Saints, Mark won 100 premiership appearances and Captained his country at all junior age groups. Further to the inevitable ‘body complaining’ he has progressed to the non-contact world of facilitation, coaching and consulting.
After working for an in-house Leadership development organisation within Sandhurst Royal Military Academy Mark now uses a range of experiences from the world of elite sport, the armed forces and business to inform his coaching and Leadership ethos.
Mark has helped to evolve the Leadership approach and adapted sustainable behavioural change of numerous corporate organisations. He specialises in developing Leadership and coach development in Olympic and elite professional sport.
As an Ashridge coach and mentor, Mark has developed and delivered a large scale coach development progammme in the somewhat “directive” risk industries with outstanding results. Mark also plays a key role in more purist coach and Leadership development, being one of the key delivery team in developing UK Sports coaches ahead of Tokyo 2020.
Will is Leadership & Management development expert for groups of Leaders at all levels in organisations.
After some real ”hands on” front line Leadership experience having led a team of 17 people around the world as a skipper in the 2000/01 BT Global Challenge sailing race and being an Officer in the Royal Navy, Will delivers his love for developing Leaders and their teams in the business and risk world.
Will has been engaged with BP since 2010 designing and providing a wide range of modular management development programmes. Will delivers intact team development including “fracture clinics” working with teams at all levels to identify performance inhibitors and enablers. He has worked for over a decade in assisting senior Leadership teams in the financial sector with their challenges.
Will is an experienced coach at middle and senior management levels using appropriate profiling/psychometric tools, 360’s and the Empowermap process. Will uses his skills regularly as a sort after keynote speaker at many major events.
DR TREVOR RICHARDS
Psychologist specialising in
resilience and mental health
Having taught for 15 years and worked as a Head of Department and Director of Teaching, Trevor undertook a Doctorate of Educational Psychology at the University of Bristol. He now combines his unique role as a school-based psychologist with his a Headship in a non-selective independent setting in Somerset. In his blended role, he works with all members of the school community to maximise young people’s learning, happiness and development, whatever their current difficulties or level of performance. He works with high performers, young people grappling with relationships, anxiety or low self-esteem, along with those that may be struggling academically. Trevor carries out a wide range of business work and training focused on building, coaching and resilience skills in businesses and elite sports. Trevor was the Author and key lead in the design and establishment of a progamme that draws the psychological approaches to boost resilience in school students in inner city London. He also contributes to a Doctoral programme at Bristol University, lectures on the PGCE course at the University of Buckingham, as well as leading training in parenting skills and education in the South-West.
Human factors and risk expert
Guy is a specialist in ”Human Factors and Error”, in short he knows why ”stuff goes wrong under pressure!”.
Guy was a British Airways pilot and training pilot for 35 years flying over 18,000 hours.
He was one of the pioneers of the introduction of Human Factors (HF) Training into Airline culture. As a result he was asked to assist many other high risk industries to develop their Human Factors programmes. Such industries included National Air Traffic Control (NATS), the Marine industry and more recently the Legal Profession.
Since 2001 he has been instrumental in designing and presenting Human Factors courses in the Healthcare environment on behalf of The Royal College of Surgeons, The NHS Institute of Innovation & Improvement and several NHS Strategic Health Authorities and Trusts. More recently he has been running training and coaching programmes in association with many healthcare organisations in the UK.
Guy has also been involved in training and coaching applied Human Factors in several research studies at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Luton and Dunstable, John Radcliffe and Kings College Hospitals in partnership with Oxford University and The Health Foundation.
Guy is the co-founder of Risky Business (www.risky-business.com) He is the ‘Aviation Expert’ for ITV news as well as appearing on a current National Geographic channel episode of Air Crash Investigators.
Coaching and facilitation
Joe has most recently been at the forefront of developing and authoring the Mental Health & Resilience Programmes for young people in communities. Joe takes he love for teaching, coaching and sport to form a strong foundation for building resilience in young people. Through positive, solutions based psychology, Joe recently helped Harlequins FC build an industry leading Resilience programme that has impacted the lives on many young people in the South West London. Alongside this, Joe coaches for Bristol Rugby on the Developing Players Programme.
Joe also holds academic and pastoral positions in his primary role as a Physical Education & Games teacher across both primary and secondary age groups, taking a particular interest in fundamental movement programmes, the development of decision-making, and coaching resilience in children.
Resilience in education and sport
Jamie has been working in the world of Leadership development for fifteen years having completed a masters degree in
Sport Psychology. In this career he has worked for international development consultancies. Before that he had
worked in the cut and thrust of the cycle retail industry coming into that industry having raced as elite level racing
cyclist in Brittany, France.
In the last fifteen years he has consulted, coached and facilitated with over eighty different clients including Coca Cola, Microsoft, Royal Bank of Scotland, Argos, Commerzbank, Nationwide, VINCI construction and the England Rugby Football Union.
He has also worked abroad living in New Jersey for two and a half years where his clients included National Grid, Roche Pharmaceuticals, State Farm insurance and the US women’s Olympic Rowing Squad and understands the cultural differences between Leadership/people development in the US and Europe.
Jamie is interested in the relationship between the behaviours that we demonstrate and how that effects the perception of our Leadership with others ultimately affecting the performance levels that we see around us.
Five years ago Jamie completed a personal challenge of riding solo on his bicycle across Canada travelling from Quebec to Vancouver in 47 days. Although seeing bears and being out in the great beyond he lived to tell the tale and uses some of his learning’s in his work with Leaders.
Leadership and high performance
The experiences he gained from numerous operational deployments; skiing to and from the South Pole and from developing Young Officers, allowed Paul privileged insight and understanding as to how high-performance is shaped and sustained under rigour.
Whether working with senior Leaders, rugby players, a trekking team or 6th form prefects – Paul’s driver for success has to be positivity. The Leader who shapes a happy and committed crew; who takes time to talk and share; and who leads with generosity of spirit; will be surrounded by unified, decisive owners – all capable of stepping-up when the situation requires.
Organisational change and
A retired international rugby player who hung up her England shirt after helping her team secure Olympic qualification in 2015. Abi Chamberlain had the great fortune of captaining her country, leading the team out in over 100 of her 160 games in an England shirt.
The first ever player to be a professional International captain, she had the unusual task of leading the team through a period of change and uncertainty, transitioning from amateur to professional alongside the responsibility of implementing a Leadership structure whilst executing cultural change.
The team’s goal was simple – Qualify Great Britain for the Rio Olympics!
Now working as a Performance Coach for FTSE 250 organisations, her focus is on building strengths, identifying brilliance and creating consistently high performance.
Leadership and team development expert
Ken is a leadership and team development expert. Over many years he has adapted his unique experiences and expertise into highly effective and impactful leadership coaching. Having led the UK’s anti-terrorist unit, as an officer in the Special Air Service (SAS), Ken has subsequently devoted his career to coaching and supporting people across a variety of social and commercial areas. Now, Ken is a highly renowned business and motivational speaker and executive coach, drawing on his military background in the Special Forces and also on his rich and diverse coaching career. Ken’s open and engaging style enables him to connect with people and encourages both individual and organisational transformation and development.
Given his depth of knowledge, Ken has created and hosted a number of adventure programmes for the BBC, Channel 4, Five, CBBC, Sky and the Discovery Channel. Including his ground breaking series – ‘Beyond Boundaries’ which saw him lead people of disability across the jungles of Nicaragua, the deserts of Namibia and the Andes in Ecuador.
Leadership and team building
Russell Lewis spent 20 years in the British Army, serving in the Parachute Regiment. He has served in numerous theatres including Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. However, it was Afghanistan that proved to be his crucible leadership experience. As a Company Commander with responsibility for over 200 men, he was awarded the Military Cross for his leadership and gallantry under fire. His detailed account of his Company’s tour was published under the title ‘Company Commander’ and is now mandated reading for all aspirant US Naval Officers.
Since leaving the military Russell has worked in both the corporate and charitable sector. He trains large, multinational corporations in leadership, coaching and high performance team building. He works for Help for Heroes developing both the staff and injured veterans. He has also worked with Greater Manchester Police, the US Naval Academy and as a specialist Defence commentator for Sky News.
Resilience and trauma expert
Mark grew up in a Services family moving around the UK and Germany. He studied at Heriot Watt University, Kings College London and Ashridge Hult. Mark has 20 years of operational service in the Royal Marines. He finished his career leading in mental health and stress management, casualties and fatalities and the response to the Marine A case. He helped plan the first mountaineering expedition for marines injured in combat, leading a team to Everest Base Camp in 2009.
This experience led to personal research into human performance through adversity and challenge focussed on ethical leadership, resilience and recovery. His conclusions? If in a crisis you have purpose, morale, leadership, harmony and teamwork on your side you can achieve anything and live a good life in the aftermath. If you see bickering, scapegoating, panic, confusion and good people leaving, you’re doing it wrong and you will struggle.
He is qualified in Trauma Risk Management (TRiM), a Mindfulness based Mind Fitness trainer, a certified Executive Coach and Mentor and Senior Partner in an innovative Decision Games Consultancy. More recently he was invited to become a Visiting Professor in Military and Public Service Ethics at Bath Spa University.
Mark is married to Sally, an Architectural Interior Designer. They live in Emsworth – a small drinking town with a sailing problem – with their two sons and ageing Labrador. He keeps physically fit through early morning rowing and weekly boxing. He keeps mentally fit through challenging himself with Stoic philosophy, active meditation, sparring (poorly), reading and cooking.
Dan Hipkiss is a Performance Coach specialising in Leadership, Team and Individual development.
An ex-professional rugby player with Leicester Tigers, Bath and England Dan won four Premiership and one Anglo-Welsh Title and has 13 International caps playing in 2007 World Cup Final. Dan was forced to retire through injury in 2013 and spent time initially as a project manager in the construction industry before entering the world of facilitation, coaching and consulting.
Dan now uses a range of experiences from the world of elite sport and business to inform his coaching and leadership ethos, sharing his intimate knowledge of high performance teams and leadership.
Human factors coach
When you’re force fed ‘on the edge’ experiences from an early age it’s difficult not to notice what feeds human performance.
Jace started training as a 400metre hurdler when he was at school. Every session was about eking out the marginal gains that eventually took him on to represent British universities, the RAF and Combined Services. Enjoying parallel interests as a chorister and musician and county-level rugby player he learned the value of focus: lessons he drew on in the Royal Marines and latterly the RAF, where he became a Chinook pilot and a flying instructor with one of the most varied portfolios in the military – helicopters and fixed wing, absolute basic to front line on operations, army, Royal Navy and RAF.
With operational experience in Bosnia, Kosova, Northern Ireland, Egypt, Bruneii, Falkland Islands and latterly Afghanistan and Iraq, Jason developed his skills, first as a human factors specialist and then performance coach, being awarded in the Queen’s birthday honours for his work. It’s amazing what you can learn about people when you are strapped to an aircraft with them. He particularly enjoyed the challenge of working with the American Rangers (green berets) during his most recent sojourn to the Middle East in support of operations in Syria.
He now splits his time between military and civilian flying instruction, performance coaching and human factors training. Recent clients have included the Met Police, lawyers’ practices and GPs.
In his own words he believes everyone is doing their best and likes nothing more than to draw on his military and sporting experiences and the more esoteric skills as a song and dance actor to help others be the best version of themselves they can be.
Human resources and
leadership development expert
Phil is a very experienced senior level HR expert who is able to advise and deliver across a spectrum of HR areas including; Competency/Skill frameworks, Performance Management, Recruitment, Learning, Management/Leadership Development, Talent and Engagement.
Phil has a passion for hands-on delivery, helping people and organisations grow and develop. He has operated at a VP level with a global remit and is able to utilize this knowledge and expertise in practical and pragmatic ways. He is well versed in working with different nationalities/cultures and is able to demonstrate how his clear and simple approaches make tangible difference to people, teams and business performance.
Starting his career in a customer facing sales positions Phil has built on this background and is able to tune in to business issues and recommend the best solutions. He is customer orientated and has delivered leadership programs that are innovative and practical, achieving demonstrable improvement in NPS metrics.
Phil is passionate about setting the right ‘tone at the top’ in order to ensure that the work place is happy, vibrant and engaging. He is an experienced coach who has regularly operated at the C-suite level. He is qualified to utilize; Insights, SDI, OPQ, TalentQ and 360 feedback tools. He also has extensive knowledge and practical experience in talent identification and succession planning.
Phil is adept at building strong working relationships with all levels of an organisation. He is well-rounded, commercially orientated HR professional who loves to move things forward utilising practical and pragmatic approaches that make a difference.
Hannah is a double Olympic medallist, with the record-breaking Great Britain Women’s hockey team, culminating in winning Gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She has a doctorate in Exercise Physiology and now specialises in performance coaching.
Hannah made her international debut for England in 2004 against Germany at the age of 19 and went on to amass over 150 caps for England and Great Britain. Hannah was part of the team that won Gold at the European Championships in 2015, Bronze at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and Silver at the 2012 Champions Trophy in Argentina.
Before becoming a full-time hockey player in 2009, Hannah completed her PhD in Environmental Exercise Physiology at Nottingham Trent University after gaining a BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Science from Loughborough University. Hannah is the
Great Britain Hockey Elite Development Squad Assistant Coach and Performance Coach specialising in team and individual development.
Hannah provides valuable insights into the fundamental requirements of a performance culture and the core principles of effective teamwork and leadership. Hannah’s ability to articulate her personal learnings from performing in an elite sporting environment enables her to offer a wealth of insight through facilitation, coaching and consultancy.
She recently tested her principles on high performing teams whilst competing for Great Britain in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Having previously had no sailing experience, she took on the challenge of ocean racing with a crew of 20 novice sailors.
Personal impact coach
Jamie is a familiar face on television appearing in many shows over the last twenty years including: ‘Coronation Street’, ‘Emmerdale’, ‘Law & Order:UK’, ‘The Message’, ‘CastAways’ to name a few. As a character actor he specialises in playing eccentric and unusual roles – the chap next door or the weirdo round the corner! He is fascinated by people, relationship dynamics, human psychology and behaviour – “I love to find out what makes people tick.”
For the past ten years he has been bringing his actor’s toolkit to the business world – helping people to communicate, inspire and influence with authenticity and confidence. Jamie works all over the globe as a facilitator, keynote speaker and workshop leader specialising in soft skills: personal impact, presentation skills, working in virtual teams, communication skills, team development and inspirational leadership.
“I am passionate about people being the best that they can be, I help them to overcome their inner saboteur. When someone can step forward as their true authentic self, they start to be the star in their own life. Soft skills training should be fun, enjoyable and safe – I create a safe space where delegates can talk openly, express themselves freely and transform their performance.”
He is an NLP practitioner and is BOSIET qualified to teach both On & Offshore.
In his spare time Jamie likes people watching, home brewing and urban sketching. He lives by the Yorkshire seaside with his family and a patterjack terrier called Peggy!
Executive coach and
Paul Schrijnen is an executive coach and leadership development facilitator who has worked in numerous industries, multinational companies, government agencies in more than 60 countries on five continents.
He has worked intensively in the following sectors:, Global logistics, Biopharmaceutical, Construction and services, Retail, Insurance, Investment banking and Consulting.
The first phase of Paul’s career consisted of 15 years’ work in local and regional development. He played leadership roles in the ICA, an international human development agency. He had supervisory responsibility from age 22, and executive responsibility from age 29, overseeing the work of the organisation in Africa and India.
Paul developed his coaching skills while working as an associate with Keilty Goldsmith, a San Diego based leadership development business. He worked closely with Marshall Goldsmith, Antony Smith, and Paul Gaske on assignments with McKinsey, Goldman Sachs, American Express, and Nortel.
As a consultant Paul tackles talent management and leadership development issues. Projects have involved executive coaching, leadership development seminars, facilitation of decision making at board retreats and executive teams, re-engineering, developing a change management architecture, leading action learning sets, facilitating performance improvement workshops, and organising and leading large-group conversations to generate focus and commitment to specific change initiatives.
Paul’s work has taken him across Europe, North America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. He facilitates workshops mainly in English but his knowledge of German, French, Portuguese, and Dutch helps him to work in many environments. He is married, has four children, is on the board of a primary school, and is involved in his local community. He lives in London.
Human factors and
After a career spanning three decades policing London whilst balancing the demand of international sport, he is able to reflect on a wealth of experience working with high performing teams.
As a young Mertropolitan Police Officer, he developed his policing skills in the pressured environment of the 1980’s. After initial training, these skills were to underpin a working life in specialist roles throughout his career. For many years, he was a Specialist Firearms Officer, a frontline role in the fight against armed crime and terrorism. He participated in nearly 3000 firearms operations during an 18 year stint with CO19. As both an instructor and operator, the role saw him lead firearms operations in the UK and abroad. By his own admission, it was a steep learning curve.
“The unpredictability of the environment tested situational awareness and pressured decision making both as an individual and as a team. Thorough planning, the ability to think ahead, adapting the plan and reacting accordingly were constantly under scrutiny. We accepted that things didn’t always go to plan, but encouraged an honest and robust approach to briefing and debriefing. We were able to create an environment where tough conversations were made possible in pursuit of bettering the team.”
A former international hockey player and coach, he now manages the GB Mens hockey team as they prepare for the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.
“I’ve been fortunate to spend most of my career in pursuit of best practice alongside like minded individuals. After so many years working in high performance, It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to support other individuals, businesses and teams as they strive to be the best they can be.”
In his spare time, he claims to have invented “extreme hockey dribbling” and his dribbling challenges in the UK and the Himalayas have raised thousands of pounds for charity.
He is a TRIM Practitioner, a mentor on the Pathfinder scheme at Help4Heroes and an ambassador for Hockey4Heroes, Access Sport and Disability hockey.
Alan is one of the leading practitioners and consultants to Olympic sports, designing and delivering world leading development programmes and systems for elite coaches. He has supported and trained a range of coaches; achieving over 19 Gold medals (30 in total) across 4 Olympic Games.
Alan have has spent a lifetime working and training specialists to operate in unpredictable environments. Initially as helicopter aircrew, commando qualified, trained by the SAS as a survival instructor, mountaineer and infantry officer. Alan then made the leap into performance sport, training as a sport psychologist specialising in skill acquisition and decision-making. Since then he has been working in the heart of Team GB performance sport, training high performance managers, coaches and athletes to apply decision-making principles with gold winning successes from Sydney to Rio. His models and training techniques have been integral to the performance gains for a range of sports such as Sailing, Canoeing, Hockey and Skeleton.
Tom works with senior executives, supporting them as they encounter the unique challenges of leadership at the top of organisations. With almost 20 years’ experience in the field, his coaching is accredited by EMCC at Master Practitioner level.
Themes addressed in his coaching include navigating the political landscape, managing oneself under pressure, handling difficult relationships, having difficult conversations, thinking strategically, making tough decisions and influencing key stakeholders.
Tom is also a highly experienced facilitator and team coach. Themes include building trust and communication, identifying a compelling vision, establishing routines for collaboration, understanding personality differences and leading high performing teams.
He is accredited in the following 360 feedback tools: HayGroup ESCI 360, ZengerFolkman Extraordinary Leader 360, Kouzes Posner Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI 360) and the following Psychometric Assessments: Insights Discovery, Myers Briggs Type Indicator, Strengths Deployment Inventory, Hogan Suite of Assessment tools including HDS, NEO-PI-3 .
Recent private sector client organisations include Thomas Millar, Siemens, Aviva plc, British Telecom, Proctor and Gamble, Nissan, Morgan Advanced Materials, News UK and Ireland Ltd, Synlab UK. In the Civil Service Tom has worked with HMCTS, HM Revenue and Customs, Ministry of Defence, Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, Dept. for Education and the Home Office.
Tom has a background as a professional expedition leader, leading treks and managing projects in remote locations. He is also a keen modern jive and blues dancer.