The Story So Far

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

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.

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 performing jazz and improvised comedy.

I coach 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 work with them 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 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”.

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 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 have written articles for Coaching at Work and the EMCC journal and my first book, ‘The art of listening in coaching and mentoring’ was published by Routledge in June 2019.

Articles by Stephen Burt

  • Learning through doing – lessons from writing my first book.

    I believe that one of the things that you learn when you write a book is how to write a book; and how not to. Another thing that you learn is who you are as a writer. Finding your voice Sustained writing requires the writer to find their voice, to decide how they want to

    June 10, 2019
  • What’s in a name?

    When I tell people that I am doing a course in improvised comedy a common reaction is horror. Many say they would rather volunteer for a day in the dentist’s chair. There is some real fear around being put on the spot, performing in front of others and feeling required to be funny. So I

    April 16, 2019
  • Ten tensions 10: authentic and flexible

    10. Having a signature presence and the flexibility to be what the client needs How we are professional and authentic is one way we express our signature presence. That will be individual for each of us. But clients need different things of us and we need to flex and draw on our repertoire, including those

    April 10, 2019