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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

An executive coach since 2005, Sarah works internationally, supervising, training and mentoring other coaches. She has a successful track record in public, private and voluntary sectors. She came to coaching from a highly accountable leadership role as founding director of Bristol Education Action Zone, where she faced huge pressures from local and national policy makers to achieve immediate short term change with long term lasting effect. Her years of experience in leadership and governance, including as chair of the board at St George’s Bristol, an international music venue, give depth to her understanding of the context in which clients work.

Hands-on experience includes strategic planning; team design and leadership; creating and implementing staff and governance policies; developing new commercial models; achieving Investors in People status in two organisations and co-ordinating a crosssector partnership winning £20,000,000 for the City of Liverpool. She is currently president elect of the UK chapter of the International Coach Federation.

Professional credentials and training experience

  • PCC - Professional Certified Coach (International Coach Federation)
  • Certificate in Coach Supervision (Coaching Development)
  • Certificate in the Psychology of Coaching (Academy of Executive Coaching)
  • Advanced Diploma Performance Coaching (Coaching Academy)
  • MBTI Step 1 (OPP); Strengthscope practitioner (Strengthscope)
  • Diploma in NLP (INLPTA); NPQH (NW Regional Centre)
  • MA French & Russian (Cambridge University); MA Educ Man (MMU)
  • Dip ELIC: Spanish (Institute of Linguists)

Areas of specialism

Sarah specialises in coaching senior people who are facing times of challenge and pressure, so they develop strategy and effectiveness and enjoy their work more. She works both 1:1 and with teams, across all three sectors. Industry experience includes UN, defence, education, healthcare, technology, publishing, accountancy, retail, food, marketing, property, tourism, arts and professional services.