My belief

“Leading a business is not for the faint-hearted! You need courage, energy and commitment, but you also need some key skills if you are to succeed.”

There are many different pressures on you as the leader – some of them seemingly conflicting. How do you see the wood for the trees, and use your energy on the areas that will really make a difference?

How do you acquire the skills you need? Well you may have gone on some management training courses but wondered why things are not different once you are back, and everyday pressures are back on you. The ideas seem great at the time, but somehow you can’t get around to applying them in practice.

If you are looking for real change that lasts then coaching is the best way to achieve this. The good news is that it is possible for anyone at any stage of their career to derive huge benefit from coaching, which helps their business but also impacts in a positive way on them as a person.

With coaching you will identify the key areas you want to work on and we will tackle these together. Working with me, you will identify new ways of doing things. It is of course up to you if you want to adopt them.

But do remember that coaching is not for the faint-hearted either! You will be challenged to do things differently and break old habits that will have been holding you back.

But you, and others around you, will notice real change that lasts.

What I have done

Back in 1985 I started in manufacturing working on novel technology for high performance coatings. This was an international business and I was lucky enough to be posted to Singapore to form and lead a new regional group.

The main purpose was to introduce new products not only from Europe but from Australasia into South East Asia. In addition the remit included getting the regional team working more effectively together. A huge learning curve for me on how to get the best from people, and to lead an international high performing team. Double-digit growth was achieved and an effective team established.

Returning to the UK to lead a global support group in London lead to a huge amount of international exposure and experience.

Then came a fascinating time when I joined an SME as part of the leadership team, tasked with restructuring and bringing it up to modern operational standards – a real eye opener on how deep culture can run in an organisation! Many changes were successfully made.

Then back to a multinational company were I lead the technology teams in Europe to deliver new products. The opportunity came to start my own business, and it was an easy decision to bring all my skills and knowledge to assist others be successful through executive coaching.

More history

David started his career with Courtaulds plc, a multinational chemicals group, having completed his first degree and PhD at University College London. Starting in research and development in East London, after 5 years David was promoted to a regional management position in Singapore. As well as being responsible for the technical operations across Southeast Asia for the £10 million industrial coatings business, David led the team which supported production start ups in Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia and China. This included the construction of a state of the art, water based manufacturing facility in Singapore – on time and within budget. This was a huge learning experience in developing leadership and people skills done in the context of a completely different culture.

Returning to the UK, David led the international team that provided technical and business support for the global industrial coatings and successfully managed start-ups in India and the USA, including facilities and resource.

Next came a change of gear moving to a family-owned SME industrial adhesives business, where David was head of new technology and product support. David led many changes to their technology and business systems resulting in increased sales and profitability. This included driving significant culture change within the organisation. One of the many things that David learned during this period was that you really do have to get people fully on board with change before it can happen, particularly when the culture runs deep.

David then was appointed head of technology development for the European adhesives division of ICI plc responsible for over 50 staff in 6 European locations – a massive change in role back to a multinational global chemicals giant. Here David was part of the senior management team for two global business units with combined sales of over £600 million. Another gear change was required in David’s performance in managing the strategic elements of a global role.

One of the things that really inspires David has been the realisation of what his teams were able to achieve given the tools and motivation to succeed. It was then a natural choice to move to a career where he had the opportunity to help people develop themselves and their businesses. With this in mind, David joined the &Coaching team and has trained in coaching techniques recognised by the Association for Coaching.

David has successfully made the journey from technical specialist to business leader across several continents and cultures. As a result he understands the challenges of leading and motivating people particularly in technical and manufacturing environments. David is able to combine this skill and knowledge to help clients understand what they need to do to succeed and realise their ambitions, and specialises in coaching executives to encourage and deliver real innovation.

“I worked with David during an important transition period in my career. His personal coaching and application of techniques have proved invaluable.

Mark Hamlin. Manufacturing and Supply Chain Director, Henkel plc.

“I found working with David, enlightening and informative. The coaching was broken down into manageable sessions that could be worked around my day-to-day responsibilities well.

Simon Collins. Sales Director, Interplex PMP Ltd.

“I am writing to compliment you on the application and effectiveness of the coaching you delivered to me. There have been clear results from the experience, which have impacted positively on the way I now run the company. Goals are clearly set and measures of success easily audited. I would have no hesitation in using your skills in the future and hope we will have the opportunity to do so soon.

Chris Harvey. Managing Director, HAP Chartered Architects Ltd.

“I worked with David on Leadership and Management Coaching and was able to apply the tools and thinking to my business immediately. Never having previously spent time on developing my management skills, I found David’s coaching increased my confidence in running the business, and dealing with some tough decisions and changes that needed to be made. As a result I can now see the wood for the trees and am confident for the future. I thoroughly recommend David to anyone that is looking for a coach.

David Mitchell. Managing Director, ACI Ltd.

Number of Endorsements on LinkedIn

Executive Coaching 60
Coaching 47
Polymers 32
Management development 29
Business Strategy 29
Management 27

David Barkel
01494 812449

Connect with David on LinkedIn

I cover a 40 mile radius of High Wycombe.

Area covered (click the map to view full size)