Who Are We?

Gibsonstarr was founded in 2009 by Stephen Burt, a senior leader and coach with over 30 years of experience. Here Stephen tells his story so far.

In 2002, I left a secure, responsible and fascinating job to set up my own business as a leadership coach. I’d got the coaching bug while working in Whitehall, advising Ministers on education policy. I found that coaching fitted with my own leadership style and offered a powerful way of helping others to step up and excel.

Now, my coaching practice brings together my experience as a leader, learning from coaching many hundreds of people, insights from studying widely (including an MBA and a doctorate), and creativity from my other life as a musician.

I launched Gibsonstarr in 2009 to provide a focus for my coaching and as a rallying point for working alongside a select few other coaches whose style and expertise complement what I offer.

I have coached across the public and private sectors, from emerging or hidden talent, to CEOs, in businesses that range from technology, through oil and gas, and City insurance broking, to high-profile public sector bodies like HMRC and the Treasury.

My clients say my coaching exceeds their expectations and their testimonials give powerful evidence of what they have done, and done differently, as a result of working with me.

I get great pleasure from sharing my coaching skills and leadership insights.  My blog captures my reflections on what clients bring and on what I notice in music and elsewhere that shines a different light on coaching and leadership. I also contribute to high-quality in-company programmes, and leadership skill workshops at top business schools, through my colleagues and friends at the iOpener Institute and the Development Partnership.

I love the sense of the unknown and the power in the dialogue I have with my clients. They tell me that they feel “pulled around in their thinking”, “challenged thoroughly with a lightness of touch” and “not pushed but firmly held to account”.

I see myself as a collaborator, walking alongside my clients, drawing on my experience to inquire deeply, bringing perspective and lightness to serious issues, and helping them find ways forward that work and are sustainable.  I believe that my insight and curiosity go hand-in-hand, and that my experience has given me fluidity rather than solidity. A colleague once called it “gravitas with mischief”.