Executive Coaching, Business Coaching, Life Coaching, Edinburgh, Scotland.             Aeona Coaching and Training: Dr Sue Mitchell MAC AMInstLM

Evolution through Coaching
Strategy. Adapting. Change. Performance.

Leadership Development Programmes & Masterclasses

Why is leadership important
to your organisation and to you as an individual,
whether you are a manager or director, or you own the business?


“Good leaders make change happen. Do this with passion and we will become the company we aspire to be, creating possibilities and delivering value.” CEO


“Great leaders help colleagues discover and release their own talent, appetite and commitment for doing a good job. As many economists already know an empowered colleague is a more productive colleague. A little bit of managerial ‘know how’ also helps but mostly it’s about giving others space to grow and seeing them succeed. Providing the tools to change behaviours, create new opportunities, drive efficiency and raise the bar on standards of service creates a real sense of fulfilment each and every day.” CEO


“Leadership begins not with what you know or do, but rather with who you are.” Leadership professional.


“Organisations that lack leaders with high aspirations don’t reach their full potential. It inhibits investment, innovation and enterprise and holds back many companies.” CEO


“Great leadership is vital if Scottish business is to deliver sustained high performance in an increasingly competitive and changing world.” Director


“Most leaders are spending more time managing tasks and not nearly enough time leading people. Leaders fail to engage employees because they are distracted managing the day-to-day affairs and not investing sufficient time in engaging their teams.” Leadership professional.


“To achieve the improvement in performance and health we want across our organisation, we are shifting mindset to one where all our leaders believe: “I recognise that by involving, challenging and coaching I win commitment, ownership and trust. Command and control is sometimes required when we need to act quickly, or tackle gaps in skills or trust. But I understand that micro-management disempowers people and will not build their skills in the long term.” CEO


“Leadership is lifting up your head – bringing your eyes away from what’s immediately in front of you and looking away to the horizon. We know a lot about management and how to control. We have sold out on leadership in favour of management and that needs to change. Leaders need to be in a place where they are thinking about what’s around the corner. It’s fundamental.” Director


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“After some difficult years, we are now investing in growth and in our people. That’s tangible evidence of our commitment to improving the performance and health of our business. We are committing to leading in a way our people and our business deserve. The first step as leaders is to look in the mirror, to better understand the impact we have on people and be open to changing the way we behave if that is getting in the way. It means moving away from an authoritative leadership style to one where we support our people to achieve more than they think is possible, equipping them to tackle tough issues. Best practice shows that by adopting a “challenging” leadership style we can create the conditions for people to succeed and share our determination to make our company succeed. We want to give people the space to lead and the environment in which they feel empowered to act. The time we personally invest in building the capability and passion for continuous improvement and learning will improve our company’s ability to out-perform in the long-term.” CEO



“Most organisations are still run largely on command, comply and control. This old authoritative leadership style means managers just 'manage'. Rarely are they enabled or encouraged to really inspire and innovate. As a result managers, staff and customers often feel frustrated and often everyone feels unvalued and unappreciated. Organisations have developed processes to streamline procedures and create consistency. They probably worked well at the time they were created. In the meantime, perhaps the organisation has grown and changed and certainly the outside world, economic environment, social expectations and so on have changed, and those processes are no longer the most effective way to operate and manage. Yet it takes a shift in mindset to believe it is possible to question the system, to not just comply but suggest a better way. Successful organisations create a sense of purpose, encourage a growth and learning mindset to continually adjust with the times, encourage managers to lead and encourage initiative from all their people. Managers focus on collaboration and empowering others, are mindful of values and context, take the time to know what motivates their team, connect with people at a deeper level than just targets and express care, compassion, kindness, consideration. They create an environment where people feel valued and appreciated and are more committed to their work. The results? Communication improves and is more meaningful, productivity blossoms and overall performance is higher, both financially and in terms of a healthier sustainable workplace.” Leadership professional.



“Strategy and plans are not enough without a clear sense of purpose and direction. Leaders can make a difference by speaking frequently with our people about our company’s purpose, strategy and values. This will raise aspirations for what we can become as a business, helping people to understand how they contribute and motivating them to play their part in making it happen. Leaders can take people to places they would not go on their own which is why we are committed to building the skills of all those who lead.” CEO



“The most successful, sustainable and enjoyable organisations to work for put time and energy into developing a strong values-based culture that inspires commitment at all levels and underpins their superior performance.” Leadership professional



Research has shown that

  • Leadership is essential in high performing organisations.
  • Leadership is critical to business success and organisational health.
  • Leaders who invest in their personal growth and mastering centered leadership achieve more both professionally and personally and are more satisfied with their performance as leaders and their lives in general. They are better able to manage the pressures of responsibility, balance home and work life and feel energised and fulfilled.
  • Extraordinary leaders create significantly more economic value for their organisations.
  • An inspirational business leader can make you feel like anything is possible and be proud to work there; to believe in what the business is doing, what it stands for and that what you do makes a difference; to believe it is worthwhile putting in time and effort and be committed to giving your best to make it happen.
  • It is not just about leadership skills and training, but aligning business strategy with a set of leadership values that prioritise what matters and is important to the organisation. It is about translating the values into day-to-day behaviours that demonstrate those values, and align with operational activity. Creating this framework helps people at all levels make day-to-day and strategic decisions so all in the organisation are pulling together in the same direction, even in new situations that have not been experienced before.
  • Leaders and people in the organisation who live and work by the values create a positive culture with high commitment resulting in high performance which is sustainable in the long term and robust even under pressure.
  • Leadership behaviour determines staff attitudes to work, well-being and organisational performance. Leaders using a style of ‘engaging with others’ significantly increases team performance and productivity, and team morale and wellbeing. This applies irrespective of formal leadership status in the organisation. It is most effective when organisations have identified accepted behaviours and ways of being in ‘day to day’ interactions and communications that apply to everyone in the organisation at every level, not just managers.


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“If you want to change your organization for the better and to make the changes stick, you must focus on its long-term health even as you push for higher performance now. Our research suggests that many companies fall from grace because of an excessive bias toward a static view of managing performance. At least 50% of any organization’s long-term success is driven by its health. The link between health and performance is good news. Unlike many of the key factors that influence performance—changes in customer behaviour, competitors’ moves, government actions—your health is something you can control. The case for health starts with an understanding of how it relates to performance. Performance is what an enterprise delivers to stakeholders in financial and operational terms. It is evaluated through such measures as net operating profit, return on capital employed, total returns to shareholders, net operating costs, and stock turns. Health is the ability of an organization to align, execute, and renew itself faster than the competition to sustain exceptional performance over time. It comprises core organizational skills and capabilities, such as leadership, coordination, or external orientation, that traditional metrics don’t capture.” Scott Keller and Colin Price authors of Beyond Performance: How Great Organizations Build Ultimate Competitive Advantage.


“Leaders who use styles that positively affect the six key factors that influence an organization’s working environment (climate) have decidedly better financial results than those who do not. These factors are:

  • flexibility – how free employees feel to innovate unencumbered by red tape;
  • their sense of responsibility to the organisation;
  • the level of standards that people set;
  • the sense of accuracy about performance feedback and aptness of rewards;
  • the clarity people have about mission and values;
  • the level of commitment to a common purpose.

The business environment is continually changing, and a leader must respond in kind. Hour to hour, day to day, week to week, executives must play their leadership styles like a pro – using the right one at just the right time and in the right measure. The payoff is in the results.” Goleman, Leadership that gets results, Harvard Business Review.


Emotional intelligence (EI) is a key factor in organisational performance and employee engagement. A Carnegie Institute study concluded that 85% of financial success comes from human engineering and only about 15% from technical skills and abilities. The human engineering is all about who you are as a person and your EI and the way that impacts how you lead and engage your people. Numerous studies explore the financial implication of emotional intelligence; particularly how higher EQ leaders produce more powerful business results. One such study tested 186 executives on EQ and compared their scores with their company’s profitability; leaders who scored higher in key aspects of emotional intelligence (including empathy and accurate self-awareness) were more likely to be highly profitable. Email Sue at Aeona if you would like a copy of a report giving the business case for Emotional Intelligence.



Gallup research conducted in 2012 — which examined 49,928 business or work units and included about 1.4 million employees in 192 organizations, across 49 industries, and in 34 countries — makes clear that employee engagement strongly relates to key organisational outcomes in any economic climate. And even during difficult economic times, employee engagement is an important competitive differentiator for organisations.

•• Business or work units that score in the top half of their organisation in employee engagement have nearly double the odds of success (based on a composite of financial, customer, retention, safety, quality, shrinkage, and absenteeism metrics) when compared with those in the bottom half. Those at the 99th percentile have four times the success rate compared with those at the first percentile.
•• Employee engagement affects nine performance outcomes. Compared with bottom-quartile units, top-quartile units have:
--37% lower absenteeism
--25% lower turnover (in high-turnover organizations)
--65% lower turnover (in low-turnover organizations)
--28% less shrinkage
--48% fewer safety incidents
--41% fewer patient safety incidents
--41% fewer quality incidents (defects)
--10% higher customer metrics
--21% higher productivity
--22% higher profitability
Gallup Research. www.gallup.com. Email Sue at Aeona if you would like a copy of the report.


Analysis indicates that the UK GDP would increase by £25.8bn if we had a higher level of engagement similar to that in the Netherlands (in the top quartile of countries). Employee engagement impacts positively on performance, productivity, absenteeism, retention, levels of innovation, customer service, positive outcomes in public services and staff advocacy of their organisations. No wonder that 94% of the world’s most admired companies believe that their efforts to engage their employees have created a competitive advantage. The four enablers to improve employee engagement are visible and empowering leadership, engaging managers, giving employees voice, and having organisational integrity where the values on the wall are reflected in day to day behaviours. Employee Engagement, the evidence. Email Sue at Aeona to request a copy of the full report.



“I start with the premise that it’s better to have a goal in life, and to lead your life by a set of principles, values, or morals. My advice is to develop a values system that keeps you grounded in this ever-changing world. In my experience, the best companies and leaders operate by a clear purpose and consistent set of principles or values. People like working for leaders who are transparent about what’s important to them. Businesses must improve their productivity if they are to be successful. What differentiates those who succeed in an ever-changing world is the ability to learn. Over the last 28 years, our sales have increased 8 fold, our number of employees 2 fold, and our exports increased from 25% to 60% of the business. We've been in business over 170 years and we want to be around another 170 years. We recognize that to sustain a company, we have to continue to deliver outstanding business results, but we also have to take care of our environment and the people and communities where we operate, now and for generations to come.” Extracts from Bob McDonald, COO, P&G Values-based leadership.


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Just imagine an organisation where everything lines up...

  • Everyone in the business is clear about where it is going and their role in achieving it.
  • Daily actions are aligned to the organisation’s goals and lead to higher productivity.
  • There’s no blame or judgement in the culture. Mistakes are seen as opportunities to learn and make constructive changes.
  • People are praised, reinforced and encouraged in what they do.
  • People are encouraged to have aspirations for themselves and the business and to contribute ideas that lead to more effective ways of working and innovation.
  • The place is relaxed, there’s time for humour, time for each other.
  • The real values of the organisation are a reflection of the values of its people.
  • Everyone is able to articulate what’s special about the business and feels proud to work there.

How well does this describe your organisation? (that applies to single person businesses as much as larger ones!)
How would you like your organisation to be like that?
Signing up to the Authentic Leadership and Engaging Leadership programmes is your first step.


Email Sue Mitchell at info@aeona.co.uk for further information or to book your place. Please let me know if you are planning to apply for FTO grant and if you would like some help with that too.

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If you want to achieve more, make changes in your life and be more successful,
Contact Aeona today for a no obligation chat about our group coaching, 1:1 coaching or training.

Tel: 01875 830708
Mobile: 07809 672859
Email: info@aeona.co.uk


Evolution through Coaching: Make changes over time. Develop a strategy to adapt behaviours and actions, designed to create the changes you want and improve your performance.

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