Catherine Sandler

Catherine has worked in the field of leadership development for more than 25 years and is one of the UK’s most experienced executive coaches. She specialises in work with senior individuals and teams, mainly at Board and Director level, across the business and not-for-profit sectors. She has a proven track record of delivering first-class results for her clients and their organisations.

Catherine has taught and coached at leading educational institutions including London Business School from 1992–2002 and INSEAD from 2000–2005. She has also been a tutor, consultant and PhD supervisor at the Tavistock Clinic in London. Her own doctorate is from Oxford University. She is a qualified and experienced counsellor with a Diploma in Counselling from Regent’s University, London.

In 2011 Catherine’s book Executive Coaching: A Psychodynamic Approach was published by McGraw-Hill. It is recommended reading on coaching training programmes worldwide and has received acclaim from coaches in the UK and abroad. In 2016 it was translated into Mandarin for the growing Chinese market and has led to Catherine running multiple programmes for coaches and executives in Shanghai and Beijing.

Catherine has written articles for a wide range of professional journals on topics including the emotional role of the leader in turbulent times, coaching leaders under pressure and tackling bullying at work. She speaks on coaching and leadership-related topics at conferences, business schools and training courses and runs a popular series of webinars for other coaches and allied professionals. She is also in demand as a coaching supervisor. She has been interviewed for features on leadership and executive stress in The Financial Times and The Times.

Catherine brings deep psychological expertise to her coaching along with an extensive understanding of business and organisational life. She combines warmth and sensitivity with a proactive and practical approach. She encourages clients to play to their strengths, addresses their development needs and helps them to achieve positive sustainable change. She does not hesitate to offer suggestions or advice when appropriate. Many of her clients have transformed their leadership through overcoming entrenched patterns of behaviour that were holding them back.

In the process of exploring each client’s challenges and issues, Catherine draws on a wide range of developmental tools, carefully chosen to meet the individual’s needs. These include 360 degree feedback, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®), an Influencing Styles model and her own Emotional Profiles Triangle™ among others.

As well as working with senior individuals Catherine runs customised workshops for teams and leadership groups. She uses Action Learning, Patrick Lencioni’s model and others to improve team dynamics and performance.

Catherine has extensive experience of working with senior and high-potential women. In 2008 she launched Sandler Consulting’s Talented Women’s Impact Programme. This uses a small-group format to help female leaders and managers enhance their influencing and communication skills and increase their leadership presence. She has frequently spoken and written on this topic.

As well as working with corporate leaders and senior professionals, Catherine has considerable experience of working with entrepreneurs. She enjoys helping the CEOs of fast-growing SMEs to develop the management and strategic skills they need when making the transition from a small, organic business to a larger, more complex company.

Notable past and present clients with whom Catherine has worked include: AlixPartners, Argent (Property Development), AstraZeneca, AXA, Baker & McKenzie, Barclays, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, BP, Burberry, Céline, Channel 4, Citadel, EDF, EY, Gulf Keystone Petroleum, Harrods, John Lewis, Kingsley Napley, Lloyds Banking Group, Mundipharma, Napp Pharmaceuticals, PayPal, Reed Elsevier, Russell Investments, Societé Générale, Tesco, Thomson Reuters, Twinings, UBS, USS, Vision Capital, Waitrose and WD-40. Clients in the not-for-profit sector include the BBC, Cambridge Assessment, Glyndebourne, London Business School, Tate, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, NHS Trusts, FE Colleges, the Civil Service (Cabinet Office) and Save the Children UK.

Catherine’s coaching has been described by clients as follows:

...invaluable. Catherine has a formidable intellect, and is also a very good judge of people. She has a great range and depth of experience. CEO, FTSE 250M

Catherine’s coaching is insightful and straightforward but delivered with sensitivity. She blends real business acumen with deep developmental skills. She is incredibly bright, and really commercial and practical; this combination means that she helps you get to the nub of a problem and helps you solve it. Senior Partner, leading law firm

Catherine’s razor-sharp insights helped me to decode some difficult situations and develop strategies to tackle them with assurance. She is incisive, strategic, savvy and shrewd – not afraid to challenge, yet very supportive. I also found her fun to work with and very human. Director, FTSE 100

Yesterday I was promoted to the position of Global President and COO. I just wanted to say a huge ‘thank you’…You have had a major influence in making me more effective and I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to work with you. I wouldn’t be where I am today without your coaching and support. Senior leader, household-name global company

Catherine has been superb for me and for my business. My SME’s growth was being limited by its historical structure and poor management skills. The coaching by Catherine and her team helped us restructure, upskill and unlock the firm’s potential to grow significantly in revenue and profitability. The investment in coaching has paid for itself many times over. SME founder & CEO

Without professional help it’s unlikely I would have been honest enough with myself to identify and work on the root cause of the issue that was holding me back. As a 50 year old, the final decade of my career will be far more productive and meaningful than it would have been without the coaching. I am eternally grateful to Catherine for helping me. Partner, professional services


In addition to coaching, Catherine is on the Board of Trustees of Family Friends, a charity working to support disadvantaged children and families in London. She was a volunteer child mentor with the charity from 2018-2021.

  • US Rowing
  • Google
  • Channel 4
  • Triton
  • Unilever
  • Elsevier
  • AB World Foods
  • EDF
  • Relx
  • Alix Partners
  • citadel