“Well, what can I say? It was an absolute pleasure working with Steve for 10 months. Steve’s insight and wisdom guided me through the most challenging time of my career. Steve has many qualities, strengths and extensive experience which meant I could truly rely on what he said but most of all, I felt really heard in all of my sessions with Steve. He would come up with excellent, thoughtful questions to ensure he fully understood the details, and I could trust that his responses would be wise, considered and practical, enabling me to take action in a situation in which I felt very stuck.
Steve was excellent at highlighting the positives in the experience which I was finding hard to identify myself as my workplace confidence was being eroded daily. But I found that Steve had the perfect balance of support and compassion on the one hand, and being able to gently challenge me or my beliefs when needed.
Finally, I am grateful for the lightness of the sessions: even though what I was experiencing was very heavy, my sessions with Steve had some fun to them and I often laughed with him, which was something I was rarely doing at the time!
In conclusion, I would highly recommend Steve and would work with him again in a heartbeat. If you work with Steve, you’re sure to be impressed; his wisdom, warmth and expertise shine through.”
“Steve from the REAL Leadership Consultancy has delivered on Founders Boost UK pre seed Accelerator for a couple of cohorts and Sunderland Smart City 5g & IOT Accelerator. For us it was refreshing to have someone of his calibre speak, engage and impart his knowledge and experience to tomorrow’s future tech leaders. Leadership is key and constantly overlooked in the startup space by founders. Steve/REAL would definitely be my go to person/company.”
Mark Gardner, Startup and Growth Manager at Sunderland Software City. City Director/Program Leader UK Founders Boost Pre-Accelerator (previously Startup Boost).
“Steve has provided the startups on our CRL Accelerator programme with group training and 1:1 sessions on leadership development, effective decision-making and communication skills. The feedback from the startups couldn’t have been more positive – they found Steve inspiring, engaging and extremely competent. They described Steve’s sessions as “incredibly helpful to build my confidence as a solo female founder”, “well thought-through, carefully designed and extremely tailored to our needs” and “a breath of fresh air in leadership development, really valuable”. Having Steve as mentor in our programmes has been a great decision and I can’t recommend him enough.”
Silvia Pau, Programmes Manager, Plus X
“While not a traditional leadership role, the nature of my position requires the ability to mobilise multiple stakeholders, from all levels and departments of the organisation. When I first started the coaching experience with Steve, I was unsure of what to expect and even what I really wanted to get out of these sessions. With a very demanding schedule and working in a high-pressure environment, I was having trouble seeing the forest for the trees and felt like I had little-to-no-space to step back and think more strategically. I really appreciated Steve’s open and flexible approach, and how he adapted the sessions to deal with immediate challenges and issues that I was experiencing, while at the same time, using these examples to connect to wider elements on which I could work. I feel that our sessions were one of the few places that allowed me the time and space to really step back and reflect beyond the day-to-day hustle. He presented the idea of “moving from dancefloor to balcony,” which really resonated with me. Working with Steve has helped me to identify what leadership means to me, and to be more purposeful about cultivating a leadership mind-set in whichever task I undertake.
Steve’s thoughtful insights and reflections were incredibly helpful, not only in navigating immediate challenges, but also in prompting wider learnings. He opened the space to allow me to see things from different perspectives. In our conversations, he was able to make me more aware of strengths I hadn’t considered I had and highlight the limiting thought patterns or habits that I was sometimes unintentionally fostering. He helped me think through specific situations and extrapolate from those to reframe the way I approached things and find better solutions. As I applied these learnings, I gained in confidence and was able to better position myself in my role. On a personal level, I also began thinking more actively about my development and the direction in which I would like to go. Some of my peers and my manager have even mentioned that they’ve noted the change, as I have developed a greater sense of ownership and felt more comfortable in actively taking on more responsibilities. I have subsequently taken on a new role which will allow me to move into a more strategic space, where I hope to be able to make a stronger impact.”
Nelien Ribeiro Coache, Manager, Organisational Effectiveness, Aga Khan Foundation
Here at Plus X, we are building a national network of innovation hubs and we aim to support businesses of all sizes to innovate and grow. But we know that while running a business can be extremely rewarding, it’s also incredibly challenging at times, so we want to ensure as an innovation hub we provide access to expertise and business support when companies need it most. That’s why we launched a programme where we partner with local “Xperts” that can provide specialised business support to our members on a regular basis.
We have been working with Steve over the last year who has been providing both 1:1 mentoring and group workshop sessions to our members around the topic of leadership within startup and SME, scaling businesses.
We have had amazing feedback from members who have really valued the time, energy and expertise he brings to these companies who more often than not, want to engage in an ongoing manner to help them transform their businesses.
It’s been a pleasure to partner with Steve, not only from a personal working perspective but the value he has bought our Members.
Sarah Nichols, Partnerships Director, Plus X
“With Steve, I found a sincere and safe space where I could take that journey of becoming a leader from within and not from a pre-fabricated script but with a genuine, sincere voice. Besides his professional experience, Steve has also taken the leap from the corporate to the entrepreneurial world, has worked in similar environments as me and therefore I feel he can relate to my journey and help me progress, reflect, and move forward. He is an ally, a professional I trust, I enjoy working with someone I respect and learn from, someone who is genuine, who cares and is in the moment, is present. Steve has helped me find my voice.”
“Don’t go through your professional life without experiencing Steve’s leadership consultancy. You could be missing out on your most amazing personal and professional growth.”
Maria Bettencourt Tavares, CEO and Founder of LOONAWELL
When I decided I wanted to grow my leadership skills, I knew that having an expert and ally but also someone who would challenge me was going to be key. Deciding to work with Steve was honestly the easiest part – I was looking to push myself but stay within my values; I wanted to develop a growth blueprint that celebrated my strengths (and quirkiness) while stepping out of my comfort zone – and I knew that Steve would help me achieve that without compromising what was important to me.
What I value most is Steve’ uncanny ability to hear what is not being said – and identify and articulate areas of risk/challenge/opportunity/even before I have identified it myself. Having Steve as a sounding board has helped me take ideas (that in the past, would have languished as merely ideas) and turn it into action and outcomes – having a trusted ally and advisor has made a tremendous difference.
Within a short time of working together, we uncovered key areas for me to work through and challenges to take on. Thanks to Steve’s REAL Leadership approach, my old view of leadership has been replaced with a significant new mentality that has already made an impact in my career. Thank you Steve!
“I’ve experienced first-hand how Steve’s brand of REAL leadership inspires action, develops trust and empowers those around him. Steve has an instinctive ability to bring disparate teams together, creating an environment where everyone thrives and is motivated in achieving the desired outcomes.”
Vinit Shah, Founder and MD, London School of Sales
“I worked under Steve for my first 5 years at Mintel, in which we built a business that averaged 30% growth year over year and doubled the headcount of the team. Why was this all possible so quickly in my early stages at Mintel? Steve Charlton leads through the lens of “people”, as he has an special ability to not only connect with all types of individuals, but also to really motivate. Steve took on so many roles successfully while at Mintel, which further illustrates in his ability to coach all types of individuals, categories, and size of company. Steve is so genuine in his inner nature, as he only cares about the success of those around him. REAL and LEADERSHIP are the two perfect words to describe Steve and would highly recommend him to ALL organizations for an immediate impact on their leadership coaching”
Josh Kumin, VP Business Development, Mintel
“Steve has “been there and done that” which was a huge asset when I needed some tips around how to manage a large team…he listened well to the challenges I was facing and provided some great insights”
Senior Director, Tech Company
“I worked with Steve when he became a trustee of Bright Ideas Trust and am delighted to be continuing to work with him now in other areas. Steve is a very considered and articulate person, who leads by example. He has superb leadership skills, is thoughtful, inclusive and keen to develop the very best in people, whatever their roles, with an extremely approachable, patient and empathetic manner. Steve has a huge range of skills, knowledge and experience that he loves to share with others. and I only ever hear great things about him.”
Catherine Marchant, Charity Consultant/Interim CEO
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