Smooth operator

your first 12 months

My one-to-one coaching programme takes newly-appointed non-profit and mission-driven leaders from feeling squashed under the weight of expectations to feeling fully rooted in their new role. A calm, confident leader making a big impact.

Are you a new non-profit or mission-driven CEO who’s excited about getting started but also pretty darn freaked by what you’ve taken on?

Your first twelve months in the role are crucial. Everyone’s looking to you to establish your leadership style. To make progress on those tricky projects that have been handed over. To hit the ground running!

Is this what’s going through your head?


You’ve got an uneasy feeling that everyone’s expecting you to make like a rodeo bull and charge right in. You’re up for the challenge, sure, but it feels like a huge pressure

You’re worried about managing all those new relationships – with the Chair, the wider staff team, Senior Leadership Team (maybe some ex-peers in there. Ugh). That’s a lot of people to keep on side

You know you’ve got the right skills and experience but there’s this little voice wondering if you’re quite up to it. What if they made a terrible mistake in appointing you?

A woman looking thoughtful - representing that she is about to have an awkward conversation

Take a moment and imagine how it would feel TO:


Have a plan for your first year that’s 100% aligned with your values and unique leadership style, so you have a clear ease-filled path to exactly what to do and when to do it

Bring everyone with you, no matter what level they are in the organisation because, after all, you’ve already proven you’re a leader

have rock-solid belief in yourself so you navigate your first months without working crazy hours or staying awake at night doubting yourself.

As an experienced coach with a 30+ year career in the not-for-profit world, I can support you through this make-or-break first year.

Imagine a future where you’re loving your work, making a tangible difference and thriving in your new role. Where you and your team work together under your calm, confident leadership to create BIG positive change in the world – and have a load of fun doing it.

Sounds good?

Then my ‘Smooth Operator’ coaching is exactly what you need.



How does it work?

Join me on this bespoke one-to-one 12-month coaching programme and I’ll be right there with you for the first whirlwind year in your role.

Over a year the programme includes:

The Kick-start Session

We get clear on your priorities and set ambitious goals for our work together.  At the end of this session you’ll feel full of positive excitement for what seems possible now.

(90 mins on Zoom or face-to-face in central London)

In-between Session support

For ra-ra-ing, accountability and extra coaching between our sessions to keep you moving forward.  

(Support given by email.)

Secret Weapon

It doesn’t matter how many personality assessments you’ve done in the past, it’s unlikely you’ve done one recently enough or to the degree that I’ll carry out your DISC assessment. Your strengths will become your secret weapons and we can pull together a plan to cover any blind-spots with team members.

Coaching Sessions

Every month for the rest of the year, we pick the biggest, baddest challenges you face and tackle them head on, together. At the end of every session you’ll know exactly what you want to do next and be looking forward to doing it.

(11 x monthly 50-minute Zoom or phone coaching calls. Some can be face-to-face.)

15-minute ‘critical comrade’ calls

For when you’re doubting your brilliance, feeling a bit lost, or needing to bounce an idea around – get coached on a specific, urgent issue.

The New Leaders Kit

A suite of tried and tested tools and techniques enabling you to take common leadership challenges in your stride such as how to make ‘difficult’ conversations easier and how to make multiple, complex decisions under pressure.

If you don’t want just to survive the first months in your new CEO role, but to love your job and thrive, let’s talk.


Click below to book a no-pressure Chemistry Call.


“I recommend Katie to anyone who, like me, is eager to learn and thoughtful about developing their understanding of leadership. I have learned so much and had the benefit of a reassuring mentor to lean on.”

Matthew McGregor, first-time CEO, 38 Degrees


“I recommend Katie to anyone who, like me, is eager to learn and thoughtful about developing their understanding of leadership. I have learned so much and had the benefit of a reassuring mentor to lean on.”

Matthew McGregor, first-time CEO, 38 Degrees

The investment

Leadership coaching packages from a commercial leadership coach of my calibre cost £30,000 (or much more) for a year of support.

As a died-in-the-wool non-profit sector native, I know that kind of money is just not available.

So I try to keep my prices as affordable as possible.

Your investment will be just a fraction of that, depending on your circumstances.

Thinking you can’t justify to investing anything in your own coaching? I invite you to think about things differently.

Coaching is an investment in the mission, rather than in you as an individual. 

To carry out that mission you need to be fully supported in your leadership capacity if you’re to lead others successfully and effect the change that needs to happen.  

When you get coached at the beginning you can start how you mean to go on. 

Coaching also has a significant impact on financial outcomes. A recent article in Forbes ‘Why Leaders need a coach more than ever’ gives a comprehensive analysis of why coaching provides a compelling bottom-line return. 

These kind of results are tough to get on your own. Working with a coach allows you to move forward more confidently and with more impact than you would on your own. In my experience, CEOs find it extraordinarily difficult to make the time to reflect and learn. Having a coach means from that from the very off, you get crucial tough love and accountability so you keep your head above the water and avoid getting lost in the day-to-day challenges of the role. 

What’s not to like!?

Who is it for?

The Smooth Operator programme is for you if

You already know the huge value of coaching at senior level

You’re keen to grow and develop, personally and professionally and have a ‘growth mindset’

 You’ve got big ambitions for your organisation and for yourself

You know the value of levity at work and are up for some laughs in our sessions, too

You’re willing to be vulnerable and open and really get to know yourself and the unique offer you have to make to the world.


Tips for your new CEO role

The Smooth Operator programme is not for you if:

 You’re more than a year into your new CEO role

 You’re not willing to invest time and money into being the very best leader you can be

You’re reluctantly looking for coaching because it was agreed when you took on your new role (or you feel like you know everything already)

 You’re looking for ‘pure’ coaching (I bring all my varied experiences and deep learning to my work and – shock horror – will mentor and advise too, if that’s the right thing for you.


Do you have discounted places?

Yes, I have a sliding scale. Message me if you think you might qualify for a discounted place.

Can I work with you for a shorter time?

The minimum time I work with leaders is six months. Ideally, I like to coach together for at least a year, especially with brand new CEOs. Why? Because the work we do is deep and it’s transformational and it takes time. 


The Smooth Operator programme isn’t about a ‘quick fix’ here and there. We need space and time together – and apart – so you can take a deep, thoughtful dive into yourself and what you bring. You need space and time to learn, to feel into things. Space and time to test ideas out and to build up self-belief and confidence. Maybe even to make a bit of a mess of things and have some fails along the way (which will, by the way, teach you loads). 


You can’t do all that in a few, one-off sessions.



Yes, they probably do and I’d love to work with them. When resources are spread too thin though (especially given the low budgets earmarked in non-profits for individual L&D), you risk no one getting any meaningful support. That’s not helpful for your mission. Let’s start with you because coaching you will have the biggest trickle down impact and take it from there. We’ll find a space for one of your team members next time.


Firstly, believe in the power of coaching for you and stick to your guns that this is important. You, and the organisation, deserve this investment. (I see far too many leaders undermining their own development and that of their organisations by not being willing to push through their own discomfort about this)
Share all the reasons why you believe coaching is a great investment
Enlist my support – I’m very happy to talk it through with your Chair or other sponsor
And remember, it’s very likely that they will have no hesitation whatsoever about investing in you and your development.

Fill in the form to book a call

12 + 9 =