Hi, I'm Sarah
I’m a leadership coach and mentor who specializes in helping leaders step out of martyrdom and into an empowered, courageous, and altogether more rounded way to lead.
Because being a leader shouldn’t require you to sacrifice all of your health, energy and life force
I live with my four legged friend Mabel on the NW coast of England where we live in a house full of books, tea, candles, blankets and plants.
What we need is a new paradigm: a courageous model of whole-person leadership.
I work with leaders who know that now more than ever we need the courage to redefine how we do leadership in a way that works, that allows us to make a difference in this world without having to out-man the men, or sacrifice our health and life outside of the job in order to fit in and get on.
It’s time to disrupt the old ideas of ‘leadership’ and be part of creating something more equitable, nourishing - and human.
Here's what I want you to know with fierce love and solidarity
Sacrificing living your life fully for the work that you do isn't commitment or dedication or even part of the job.
Leadership is not a job title that someone gives us, it's a choice about how we show up in every area of our life.
Being vulnerable and able to acknowledge when it's a tough gig is not weakness, it is human and it is needed.
Our exhaustion isn’t always about doing too much, it’s sometimes about not doing enough - enough of what nourishes us, enough of what brings us joy, enough of what reminds us we are alive.
The need to work harder, prove more, be stronger leads to brittle hardness. And hardness breaks
When we find ways to live and breathe our own truth we can redefine leadership.
It becomes much less about saying yes to everything and more about discernment so we can choose what we unapologetically say no to and where we wholeheartedly put our yeses.
It becomes less about striving for perfection and being strong and more about showing up as we truly are so we can become really comfortable in our own skin with no need to put on a mask.
I'm currently a senior leader in education - I've been a leader across five different settings and my career spans over twenty years.
I'm also a Master Practitioner in NLP and a hypnotherapist. I bring all of that to my coaching and mentoring.
I get first-hand that leadership can be a tough gig.
And it can be made even tougher by the culture we swim in, where we absorb messages constantly about what being a woman and what being a leader should look, sound and feel like.
This working harder, proving more, being stronger, in a society and our organisational bubbles where exhaustion and sacrifice are not only normalised, they are glorifed is consuming us whole, leaving nothing left.
No wonder we become exhausted and feel we aren't enough.
We need to stop trying to play by rules that aren't designed for us.
Imagine what could happen when we tap into our courage and create a different way.
A more nourishing, human model.
One that works for us.
We need a rethink of leadership.
One that not only removes the need to martyr ourselves but recognises that we’re only at our best as leaders when we’re living fully rounded, rested, authentic lives too.
What I Say Yes To
Being real, showing up fully, imperfection, speaking our truth, honouring boundaries, being comfortable in our own skin, diversity of leadership, vulnerability, empathy, humanity, stewardship, ebb and flow, whole person, being more than the job title on our lanyard, feminism, changing the narrative, calling out the patriarchy, veganism, imagination, creativity, courage calling to courage.
What I'm Not About
Elbows out, pretending to have all the answers, martyrdom, self sacrifice, take-take mentality, designer labels, quick fix, hustle, one size fits all, bluster, inequality, hardness, perfection, self styled gurus, ecocide, the cult of busyness, burn out, defining our worth by what we produce or our outcomes at work.
Some of the serious bio stuff - my creds and quals (because it's good to know, right?)
I've over 20 years experience in the education sector, teaching, training, leading, consulting, coaching and mentoring and my leadership career spans across 5 different settings.
Over 14 years ago I did my first piece of formal training in NLP. It had a profound impact on my practice and I went on to continue training extensively.
I'm a Master Practitioner in NLP and a hypnotherapist registered with the General Hypnotherapy Register.
I'm also a qualified practitioner in Steven Blake's Old Pain 2 Go methodology which is fantastic for when the unhelpful messages we are holding on to (often outside of our awareness) are leaking out as burnout, fatigue, and pain.
I blend my leadership, coaching and teaching career with NLP, hypnotherapy and other frameworks in a bespoke and tailored way for each person I work with. The work we do together is as unique as your fingerprint.
I still lead a school which means everything we do is rooted in what really works in the day to day.
Combined with my coaching and change work frameworks I draw on an extensive leadership career and the richness of real life experience.
Across my leadership career I have:
Transitioned from top level sport, I was a member of the GB Judo Team for 14 years.
Been selected onto a national elite leadership programme within education.
Contributed to a year long co-development group for curriculum design across England.
Presented and shared best practice at regional conferences for head teachers and principals.
Led as a senior leader across organisations undergoing change, merger and restructure.
Been an associate writer on a mental health curriculum rolled out in the North of England.
Led in maintained schools, a faith school, an academy and a short stay alternative provision school.
Been a consultant on provision within a primary setting.
I am a self confessed geek about how we navigate the nitty gritty of real life leadership in a way that allows us to do the work we want to do without sacrificing our health, sanity and life outside of the job.
Finding ways to lead and live with courage so that we show up fully and live a well rounded life is what lights me up.
Other loves, likes and where I wholeheartedly put my yeses
Spending time at the beach or in the woods with Mabel my dog .
Reducing my plastic and planting more.
Harry Potter and Harry Potter read by Stephen Fry.
Neil Gaiman books.
Natural dyeing and crafting.
Tea & deep conversation.
Folklore, myths and stories of old.
Ancient wisdom & magic
My tardis blue DMs
Click on this button and you’ll be taken to straight to my calendar to book a time for a quick chat – this is just to see if you’re a good fit for the program and to answer any final questions you might have.
There's no commitment or expectation that clicking the button commits you to anything other than making sure this is a great move for you.
" Sarah has a genuine belief in 'doing' leadership differently. There's none of that old school machismo that can sometimes accompany what constitutes a leader. Instead, she has a steady focus, which she pitches perfectly for the situation in front of her, helping people to find their own path and offering a supportive arm along the way. A real, authentic guide for those that want to do things a bit differently. "
Catherine, Local Government Leader