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Leadership development from the inside out, not outside in.​


Much leadership development is useful but insufficient. Conventional approaches operate from the outside in.  They fail to appreciate that, if learning is divorced from the work context and how leadership is actually practiced, it is like learning how to be a parent from books, dolls and the occasional work experience trip to a kindergarten.

We don’t say “here is a model/theory, now fit yourself to that”.

We start with where you are at, in your context, with the questions you bring about your leadership, your organisation, change and what’s important to you. The inside out.

Experience what it means to practice leadership, not just learn about it.

We see leadership as a practice. 

We don’t start by offering you easy answers and simple solutions. They don’t exist for the complex challenges with which leaders wrestle.

Leadership is not what you do to people, or pretending to be someone you are not. Nor is it something you learn about in a training room, divorced from reality. It is applied learning, grounded in reality, where the connections are made by you, with our support and challenge, as you make your own way.

The offer

Six days of inquiry-led deep learning with others chewing on what it means to practice leadership. This is development led by you: we don’t offer you experts to give you ‘a right answer’; we inquire with you to find what works for you.

Who you will be working with

Steve Hearsum has been described as 'the right kind of fly in the ointment'. With over twenty years' experience spanning internal and external consulting roles, he works with clients to develop their leadership practice. He also has substantial experience of , working with internal change practitioners to develop their consulting skills. When not working, Steve is either writing his book or walking a very fluffy dog. 


Alastair Wyllie has a broad leadership and organisational development practice as an executive and team coach, coaching supervisor, facilitator and action researcher.  His style is relational, conversational, systemic, improvised and pragmatic.  He works with C-Suite leaders, senior managers and officials in private, public and not-for-profit organisations – and often in ethnic and professional multicultural contexts. When not working, Alastair is often to be found walking wind-swept beaches at home in Scotland.


How it works

Group size will be between six and twelve people, and the work looks like this: 

  • Day 1: self-discovery, revealing the WHAT of your leadership work

  • Days 2 through 5 form the SO WHAT?:

    • Day 2: Leading Self;

    • Day 3: Leading Others;

    • Day 4: Leading Impact;

    • Day 5: Leading Change; 

  • Day 6: Leading into the future – the NOW WHAT? Your findings, convergences, emerging goals and aspirations. What’s different? What’s the same?….


Throughout, we will offer  primers/provocations on things the group decide they want to focus on. We may also bring in guests.

You will leave with:​

  • Increased awareness of:  

    • How comfortable you are with complexity and uncertainty;

    • What your edges are as a leader, and where to go next;

    • How your leadership needs to adapt to your emerging context;

    • Your own personal next steps and actions to have greater impact;

  • A greater sense of who you are as a leader and what matters to you.



Talk to us. We occasionally run open programmes with participants from multiple organisations, and are happy to discuss in-house and bespoke options.

To give you a flavour, for an in-house programme with 12 people and two facilitators would be between £12,000 and £15,000 + VAT. Location and sector will influence that.

don't just TALK ABOUT IT.

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"You helped me develop my ability to ask the disruptive questions and agitate thinking, this I actively work at and always try to push myself to the edge of my ability and comfort zone, you enabled all of that."

Richard Sandiford

John Lewis Partnership

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