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Sarah Gornall

Every course leader brings a unique wealth of insights from within the boardroom and wider business community to the programmes they deliver; the IoD gives you exclusive access to their expertise.

IoD executive coach


Business experience

Sarah has a successful track record in highly accountable leadership/governance roles, including on the Board of the UK chapter of the International Coaching Federation (Director 2014-19, President 2018 and 2019); Chair of the Board at St George’s Bristol, an international arts venue, (Director 2004-12; Chair 2008-2012); and Founding Director (CEO equivalent) of Bristol Education Action Zone (2000-2005). Years of experience in leadership and governance, navigating the needs of local, national, and global policy makers in change contexts, bring depth to her work with leaders in both commercial and public organisations.

At the leading edge of coaching in the UK, Sarah works with clients at a senior level in public, private and voluntary sectors; supervises and trains other coaches; presents at events both in the UK and internationally; and is the author of highly acclaimed books on coaching and working with people. Clients describe her as inspiring, wise, creative, knowledgeable… simply “first rate”.

Professional credentials and training experience

Sarah has over 3,000 hours of experience as a coach/supervisor and is qualified by the International Coaching Federation as a Master Coach (MCC), the highest professional credential. She is a qualified team coach and coach supervisor and an executive coach for the Senior Civil Service as well as the IoD.

  • MCC - Professional Certified Coach (International Coaching Federation)
  • Certificate in the Psychology of Coaching (Academy of Executive Coaching)
  • Advanced Diploma Performance Coaching; Diploma in NLP
  • Certificates in Coach Supervision; Systemic Team Coaching; Team Coaching Supervision
  • Practitioner in MBTI Step 1 and Strengthscope
  • MA French & Russian (Cambridge University); Dip ELIC: Spanish (Institute of Linguists)
  • MA French & Russian (Cambridge University); MA Educ Man (MMU)
  • MA Educ Man (MMU); NPQH

Areas of specialism

Sarah specialises in coaching C-Suite and senior leaders who are facing times of challenge and pressure, so they develop strategy and effectiveness, enjoy their work more and rise to be their best. She works both 1:1 and with teams across all three sectors.

She has worked with clients across a range of industries, including:

  • Hargreaves Lansdown, IoP Publishing, 4Global, SAI Global, Arthur David, SS Great Britain, Accolade Wines
  • Senior Civil Service: Cabinet Office, MoD, HMRC, Min Justice, FCO, DfT, NDA, ACAS
  • NHS; Local Authorities/ Councils; FE and HE; Schools and Multi Academy Trusts.

Sarah is the co-author of 4 books, including the critically acclaimed “The Art of Coaching: A Handbook of Tips and Tools” (Routledge, 2015) described by Eric de Haan of Ashridge Business School as “compelling … fun, and … comprehensive” and “How to Work with People… and Enjoy It!” (Routledge, 2019).