Enabling Action 


My personal mission – ‘Truly Effective Use of Your Talent’

I am passionate about finding ways to assist people make truly effective use of their talent whether it is at work, home, or in their leisure pursuits. I also believe that most people and organisations want the same outcome; however, when we look at organisations the opposite outcome appears to be what they actually achieve with their people. This is why I want to invest time is sharing my ideas on how you can become an ‘Bottom-up enabling leader’. I will share my thinking on how this can be achieved as well as highlighting the factors that would naturally tend to negate the development of ‘Bottom-up enabling leadership’ skills.

Having invested many years in managing, consulting, coaching, mentoring, and confronting, it has slowly dawned on me that where the structure of the organisations is based on the hierarchy it has an inbuilt system that induces people to operate at a level between average and mediocrity. This is mainly due to the nature of bureaucracy, which is very much a part of the hierarchy, needing to exercise control over most of its employees. Therefore, by using the command and control process it becomes a necessity to ensure that everyone conforms to the organisation’s rules and procedures. This in effect makes it very difficult for many employees to express their unique talent in ways that would add most value to their teams and their organisation. Becomming a bottom-up leader is a powerful way of overcomming the danger of being a corporate commodity simply because it enables you to be your own person able to meet whatever challenges that you face with increasing confidence.

My Brand


I act and behave in ways that demonstrates believe that every person should have the opportunity to realize their potential – and not be constrained by the inappropriate power exerted by others. I act with sincere conviction when creating learning opportunities for those I have the privilege to work with. I am confident and self-reliant in ways that enable me to constructively confront people and situations that are structured to disempower others. I am dedicated to assist others gain in personal confidence in ways that help them to achieve the fulfillment they desire.


My Journey


From being involved in a series of hierarchical Leadership situations (at Work, Home, and Leisure) I am traveling to a world where Upside Down Leaders prevails and people are fulfilled throughout their life’s experiences.




I will start by providing a snapshot of my personal background and interests. Being a Scot and an engineer indicates that I have a pragmatic and practical approach to most things that I do. This is why I enjoy most “do it yourself” type of activities as this enables me to keep my practical skills at a reasonable level. For leisure I enjoy reading mainly business and profession type books and in the physical sense I have a passion for golf and take every opportunity to play wherever I am in the world. Although based in the UK I enjoy travel and am a regular visitor to Singapore, Spain, Australia, and New Zealand.


Business Experience


I am President and founder of the Centre for Enabling Leadership. Although initially trained as a mechanical design engineer my experience included a number of key positions in production management as well as operating in senior management roles. This was before I changed to a career that focused specifically on enabling others to achieve more through personal growth. The goal, mission and vision of the Centre is to assist individuals to “shape a better future” as a means of enabling them to have “a productively better life” and thus be more able to contribute to making a “better society”. This has been my passion for years and I have a track record of success in helping people transform quality of life of by making them aware of, and then helping them fulfill their potential.


Effective change is achieved by encouraging people to employ a variety of effective tools and techniques that include a range of on-line behavioural diagnostic questionnaires. The key to my success has been in assisting individuals and teams to clearly identify the compelling reasons why they should change and then to create, with them, the most effective processes that enable them to make the difference they desired to achieve


Influencing Change


I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to work with people who perceive the need to change, have the desire coupled with the will to act to make it happen. I also get involved in development assignments worldwide that range from influencing CEOs and other senior executives to shape clear and compelling strategies that inspire their colleagues. As part of the development process I also encourage them to adopt a more enabling style of leadership when working with their colleagues to help them to be accountable for results by using a higher component of self-managing.


It is very fulfilling when I am have the opportunity to design and facilitate coaching and learning events that accelerate personal development in a truly business focused manner. Another exciting area in increasing demand is the design and coordination of assessment centres that are based on tailor made capability profiling which effectively replaces the practice of using a “one size fits all” approach. This type of centre can be effective in assisting organisations to recruit new talent against a developed capability profile. The process provides an objective means of assessing individual capability for employment, development, increased responsibility and promotion to more senior positions.


Improving Self-awareness


Recognising that many people need opportunities for personal development we developed a range of short 3 hour learning events that included subjects such as “People Skills”, “Handling Difficult People” and “Personal Branding”. Having developed a range of on-line behavioural questionnaires with the Centell team we are able to assist individuals to diagnose their strengths as well as highlight areas that need development. The insights that emerge have provided a powerful motivator for change and the results have been quite spectacular in many instances. Some people appear to actively resist improving their self-awareness even when their behaviour causes others a lot of grief. Helping them to appreciate the impact of their behaviour on others sometimes requires them to be confronted in a positive manner that is designed to produce a constructive outcome. Therefore, I have become an effective facilitator where these kind of ‘difficult’ issue and people need to be addressed.


Leadership Experience


I have had the good fortune to have been given the opportunity to undertake senior leadership positions in a number of organisations including the CBI and BIM in Scotland, The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), The International Federation for Training and Development (IFTDO)

I am a Chartered Engineer, have an MBA in which I majored in group behaviour and am a Companion of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Through my involvement in both national and international organisations I have been a keynote speaker and workshop facilitator at conferences around the world. Over the years I have had several books and many articles published with Enabling Leadership being my benchmark book. Current assignments involve me in creating new ways to assist organisations and individuals cope with the pace of change being brought about by the global economy and the mantra of “more for less” that this has created.


Upside-Down Leadership


Having been privileged to work in a wide range of organisations around the world has given me the insight into what needs to change to enable people to make really effective contributions. It has taken me a long time to fully appreciate the inflexibility, and thus inability, of organisations based on a hierarchy to truly develop people. Although I encourage executives to explore new ways of structuring their organisations to provide sound guidance to every team member on what is expected from them, I now know how difficult this is. This is why I have begun to use the metaphor of “Upside-down leadership” to describe a process whereby each person takes control in ways that enables them to know exactly what is expected from them, obtain constructive feedback on their performance, receive the appropriate rewards, and continue to develop their capability. Having introduced the concept to others and receiving positive feedback encouraged me to start blogging on the principles and practices. The aim is to encourage anyone who is keen to shape a better way of working in organisation to form a community of interested people to share ideas and practices that will make an effective difference.