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Coaching for Senior Leaders

Why coaching?

  • Coaching is about raising awareness, breaking habits, facilitating not telling, helping people to reach conclusions which are right for them rather than telling them what to do.
  • It’s extremely complementary to mentoring and is often the second stage after people have gone through mentoring and are now dealing with trying to make all the strategic moves that the mentor has suggested.
  • Mentoring focuses on sharing personal experiences, things that have worked for the mentor, while coaching focuses on the barriers to action, confidence, strengths and how they can be used, and what’s holding people back. 


About the coach – Alison O’Leary

Certified career coach, Alison O’Leary, delivers tailored coaching programmes for senior leaders. The programmes are designed to help individuals overcome challenges, enhance performance and business contribution, and support career advancement. Each programme consists of five coaching sessions via Zoom that address individual needs, providing a confidential space to gain greater perspective and effect positive lasting change in areas including:

·Managing relationships


·Strategic thinking


·Building confidence and presence

·Managing stress

·Delegating and team management

·Stretching potential

Alison combines insights, tools and techniques from her coaching toolkit to help senior leaders deliver visible results that benefit the individual and the organisation. She also brings a genuine understanding of the industry following a 19-year career in communications where she held a number of senior management positions; most recently as Deputy Managing Director, Europe for Racepoint Global.

For an insight into Alison and her work, please take a look at these references from senior communications leaders.  If you are interested in discussing a potential coaching programme with Alison, please contact Souha Khairallah, Talent and Professional Development Director, PRCA at 


“Two of our team have worked with Alison now for two rounds of coaching and are carrying on – they just can’t get enough! From day one we were able to see the impact that working with Alison was having and confirmed it was 100% the right choice to make this investment in them. Alison has been transformational – and that is no exaggeration – in helping them both overcome challenges they were facing and become more confident, balanced and brilliant individuals. Her comprehensive approach and her ability to get to the heart of what they (and we) wanted to get out of the coaching has allowed them to both make steps up in their careers, take on more responsibility and become stronger all-rounders, who are an asset to themselves and our agency.  Thank you Alison and I look forward to referring more of the team to work with you.” Suzi Lawrence, Partner, Managing Director – Talent, London Communications Agency

“I’ve seen first-hand the impact Alison has on people. She recently worked with several of the team here at The Think Tank and helped people grow into their new roles. Alison was amazing in giving our colleagues the tools they need to grow, and most importantly, realise their individual impact.” Joanna Wilmot, PR Director, The Think Tank

“Having Alison as a professional mentor and coach over the course of 10 months has been an invaluable exercise that I will continue to draw on and learn from for years to come. I set out with the ambition of personal development and honing my leadership skills. Through the course of our one-to-one sessions Alison has helped me to become more self-aware and truly understand my strengths and innate skills, how I best champion them in my role and apply them for the benefit of the team and our business. She is a natural motivator, relatable and easy to communicate with, and this style paired with her experience and use of theory has really helped me to trust her from day one. Overcoming an underlying imposter syndrome that has plagued me for years, and realising my strengths are my superpowers has been the biggest outcome for me from the sessions we have had together. She is a pleasure to work with and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her as a coach and mentor.” Hannah Lloyd, Associate Director, Pinstone

“Alison is a superb coach who goes about her work with great enthusiasm, empathy and diligence. Her communications and public relations experience means she understands the unique demands of the sector and the agency environment. She combines skills-based training with coaching to help individuals and teams maximise their contribution and operate to their full potential.” Marcus Sorour, Managing Director UK, WE Communications

“Working with Alison has had a transformative impact on my career. She has helped me to recognise and appreciate my own strengths and how to articulate them. She has been an invaluable sounding board when dealing with specific challenges in the workplace and has given me tools and techniques to manage these situations. I trust her judgement implicitly. During the time I’ve been working with Alison I have been promoted to a senior manager role and, with her continued coaching, I am confident of continuing on this upward trajectory. Emily Lumsden, Senior Account Manager, London Communications Agency

“I have had the pleasure of working with Alison, in senior positions for almost 15 years, through different companies and in different circumstances – always high-pressure ones. I completely trusted and relied on her to know what was going on with our people in the agency and to identify and exploit the opportunities presented by all our talent, to head off the crises and to mitigate when things got tough. She never spared me from the truth, but she delivered it in a compassionate way that allowed me to learn from it. Alison has an innate ability to help people, at all levels and all stages in life, to see where they’re at and why, develop a sense of where they want to be and then arms them with the right tools to get to where they need to be. Added to that, she has the greatest sense of fun, infectious laughter and a way of taking you out of yourself that is the best therapy.” Cathy Pittham, Global CEO, AxiCom Cohn & Wolfe

“I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with Alison and seen, first hand, the valuable and immediate impact her excellent executive coaching skills can have on a leadership team. With a wonderfully calming demeanour while exuding confidence in a measured and thoughtful way, Alison is a great listener and applies perspective to everything she says and does. What I love about Alison is the value she places on the three core attributes of being a good leader: empathy, emotional intelligence and common sense. Alison goes that extra mile to really understand the individual and unlock their inner self – I can’t recommend her highly enough.” Andrew Laxton, EVP International Strategies & Managing Director, Europe, Racepoint Global

“I’m fortunate to have known Alison both personally and professionally for many years now. Alison combines a quite unique blend of skills and attributes: insightful and thoughtful, strategic and delivery-focused, patient and highly energetic. She’s great to work with… in fact, an all-round super human being.” Joe Hanley, Vice President, Communications, Medtronic EMEA