The School for CEOs panel of coaches are well equipped to help you win. Specialising in executive coaching, School for CEOs also support individuals through on-boarding and career transition coaching both in online and in-person coaching relationships.


The coaching panel is led by School for CEOs Managing Partner David Sole OBE.

David began coaching in 2000, first as part of the Change Partnership, then as a partner at Whitehead Mann where he was head of the Leadership Development practice. He set up his own company David Sole & Associates in 2007, which merged with School for CEOs in 2017.

Coaching remains an integral part of leadership development at School for CEOs and is used in complement to participation on a programme or as a standalone intervention, bespoke to your personal development needs.

The latest addition to the coaching portfolio is Dimensions coaching, which provides a 360° feedback component to the Dimensions leadership framework.

Executive Coaching


Planning and Contracting

A chemistry meeting between coach and client ensures both parties are clear with objectives and comfortable working together. Coaching objectives are triangulated with a sponsor to ensure clarity around expectations.



360 interviews, a Dimensions self-assessment or 360 diagnostic, psychometrics, and existing data held by the organisation can be used to provide insight to both coach and client.


Agenda Setting

The outputs of the diagnosis and initial briefings are distilled into a focused agenda which usually consists of 4-6 key points, converted into SMART objectives.


Focused Development

Client and coach typically meet once every 4-5 weeks for 1½-2 hours at a time to discuss the coaching agenda. Normally, coach and client would contract for a set of six meetings.



A formal review at the end of the final session with the sponsor reviews the coaching agenda and outcomes.

Onboarding Coaching

Given that 30% of new hires falter or fail, investing in onboarding coaching can significantly reduce the risk of this happening. Our intensive bespoke onboarding coaching process targets the key areas and helps new recruits assimilate seamlessly into your organisation. The process falls into four phases:


Step One

Coach and client meet before starting the new role to plan key meetings and events during first weeks in role.


Step Two

Coach interviews new hire’s key stakeholders to gain insight into the expectation of the individual along with insights into the organisational culture.


Step Three

Client arrives in the business, receives feedback from the interviews and prepares for first few weeks, ensuring personal induction plan aligns with the organisation’s.


Step Four

Coach helps the client prepare for their ’90-day review’ – what they have learned, what they think needs to be changed, how they want to work with their team and what impact they want to make. They consider how to ‘socialise’ this with the key stakeholders.

Career Transition Coaching

Conventional outplacement activity has not always recognised the particular needs of executives to tailor an approach to suit their own specific aims and ambitions while at the same time providing them with challenges to these pre-conceptions. We seek to gain an in depth understanding of our clients as individuals and use a range of tools to facilitate future-focused discussions. These interventions will be of value to individuals who wish to progress in their career, take stock and change course, or consider a portfolio approach.

Ours is a bespoke coaching-led approach, based on some key principles and processes yet flexible enough to adapt to the specific objectives of the individual concerned. Assistance with transition will ensure that clients are able to manage their exit, find their next role, and make a successful start in their new role with positive impact.


Step One: Understanding you and your career

Tools help explore the lows and highs of your career, aspirations and future plans and where appropriate psychometric testing to develop self-awareness. This information begins to inform your updated CV, which is tailored to target audiences.


Step Two: The job search

A coach guides you in your research of the market and how to use executive search companies to best effect. Tools are introduced to audit your network and manage your CV, and explore and challenge your parameters eg. Location, sector, ongoing career plans.


Step Three: Interview preparation

A mock interview process builds confidence, refines your narrative and ‘plans on entry’ and ensures a thorough understanding of the organisation and challenges and opportunities within it. This stage also considers how your leadership behaviours and competencies align with your chosen role.


Step Four: Preparing to move on

This stage helps you assess a range of job offers, negotiate an offer and focus on the transition into the new role. It helps you develop your own ‘induction plan’ to complement your new organisation’s to enable a seamless and impactful entry into the new role.

Participant Profile

As a one-to-one interaction, coaching is extremely flexible and welcomes a wide range of individuals.

What our Clients Say

"I have worked with David over the past 3 years and his pragmatic advice and extensive knowledge has been instrumental in my career. His calm demeanour combined with positive challenge gives both clarity and confidence. He is also a great connector of people and generous with his time. He is simply fantastic to work with!"

CFO & COO – FTSE-100 Financial Services Business


"I have a saying, 'if you want growth seek criticism not praise'. Praise makes you feel good, which is important, but criticism gives you information which you can use to improve yourself. Thankfully David's approach is rather more professional and balanced than mine used to be. He is a proven winner and a highly credible guy. He is challenging, considered and thought provoking in a constructive and empathetic way. Importantly he also has a genuine interest in the people he works with and is good company. David is helping me reach even higher levels in my career and I would be happy to commend him to anybody looking for a really good independent coach."

Managing Director – European Asset Management Business


"I have used a personal development coach for 4 years. What I look for is someone who will challenge and develop me across many different areas whilst being supportive in times of need and a good listener. I want the coach to try and remain as objective as possible but draw on experiences gleaned elsewhere to guide and direct me. I want to be pushed so that the sessions are more than a session on the therapist's couch and I am required to prepare in advance to maximise the benefits.  You need to feel assured that confidences will be respected as well as working with some-one who has been at the top of their game and who therefore understands the multitude of challenges of getting there and even more so staying there. But as important as all this, is some-one of a like mind and good humour so that you look forward to the time spent together. David fulfils all of the above, has a very open style, invests time between meetings and has provided significant help over the 2 years we have worked together. I strongly recommend his coaching and development skills."

CFO – FTSE 150 Transport business


"For me, coaching imparts a structure and framework for analysing and solving issues myself.  I find David supportive and testing, pushing me to identify the true answers to my professional challenges. As a result of working with David I have a more frank and effective relationship with my team and customers than I ever thought possible."

Commercial Director – FTSE 250 Distribution business


"David coached me with regard to me managing my manager's manager. The net impact is that I add much more value to both which in turn means I now have much more direct contact with both as a result. David's style is one of listening and then challenging but in a developmental and supportive way, rather than an aggressive one. I therefore fully participated in my own development which meant I was much more commited and took bigger risks with people. David looks at outcomes and then ways of achieving them. I learnt strategies using both leadership and sustaining behaviours. It was a very effective experience and a very enjoyable one as well."

Senior Vice President – US Technology business


"I was coached by David over a period of about 18 months including direct one to one sessions and a course on coaching styles. The period for me marked a significant level of corporate and cultural change at the organisation I have worked in for over twenty years and involved a reasonably dramatic change in working practices and role. 

I found the sessions to be extremely useful. David’s style is to encourage an open and honest discussion leading to some clear self appraisal with options for taking issues forward. In my case what I really appreciated was a clear agenda of actions that we concluded during the sessions that I could follow and the introduction of rules of engagement to appraise how to manage situations and assess an environment. On every occasion there was an opportunity to review the success of a course of action and to appraise the execution style and where improvements could be made. The results achieved were measureable in my own organisation through an internal 360 programme where some fairly significant change, for the better, has been noted.

David is a very easy person to talk to with a broad background of experiences from which to draw. The group coaching tutorial was instructive and the models explained broadly used across our company. "

Chief Investment Officer – Fund Manager

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