Ed Williams

Ed is a highly-experienced executive coach who works with senior and emerging leaders across all sectors. He helps them to think, feel and behave more effectively in order to deliver peak performance and enhanced results.

Before training as a coach in 2005, Ed held senior management roles at Marks & Spencer including head of Leadership Development & Learning and director of Corporate Responsibility. In this latter role, Ed established Marks & Spencer’s highly acclaimed approach to responsible business practice and under his watch M&S was judged Business in the Community’s Company of the Year. He has also held senior roles in not-for-profit and large public sector organisations. These experiences have given him a wealth of commercial and strategic insight which he draws upon when supporting clients with their own business and organisational challenges.

When coaching, Ed quickly grasps the context in which his clients are working to help them fully appreciate the dynamics of the system within which they are operating. Ed believes in working with people’s strengths and offers feedback, observations and ideas to build upon these. He creates a safe environment and rapidly builds trust through strong empathy and rapport. This enables him, where needed, to challenge unhelpful patterns of behaviour and suggest new strategies that will enable the client to become more effective in their leadership role.

Ed flexes his style to the needs of the client and draws upon a wide range of tools, frameworks and techniques including emotional intelligence, systemic coaching, personality type and psychometrics. Ed is a member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) and subscribes to their ethical code of practice. He is a qualified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®) and Hogan Assessments practitioner as well as a certified Senior Action Learning Coach with the World Institute for Action Learning (WIAL).

In his work as an Action Learning coach, Ed has supported many groups of leaders both in the UK and internationally to help them achieve breakthrough solutions to their urgent and important business challenges. The simple yet powerful Action Learning approach quickly builds high performing teams whilst simultaneously developing skilful leadership behaviours.

As a young man, Ed lived and worked in Zambia as a teacher with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO). As a senior executive he took on a range of non-executive appointments including Commissioner on the Barrow Cadbury Trust Commission on Young Adults and the Criminal Justice System, HR Advisor to the Royal National Theatre and Chair of Alone in London. In 2000, Ed was awarded an MBE for his work on the development and implementation of the charity Children’s Promise.

Ed has worked with a wide range of organisations from large corporates and leading professional services firms to SMEs and charities. Clients have included: Argent (Property Development), Arrowgrass Capital Partners, Brewin Dolphin, British Museum, Brunel University London, Burberry, Céline, Credit Suisse, The Guinness Partnership, HM Revenue & Customs, Kingsley Napley, Lincoln International, Lion Capital, London Business School, MediaSense, Mudano, National Literacy Trust, Nationwide Building Society, OCS, Oktra, The Prince’s Charities, Tourism Ireland, Travers Smith and UBS.

Ed’s coaching clients have commented that:

"Ed is an extremely effective executive coach with a clear sense that he is ‘on your side’. He built a profound understanding of my leadership and behavioural preferences. Tangible results included improved working relationships with difficult colleagues, more effective leadership and a more accurate understanding of changes I needed to make in my own team. More importantly Ed has armed me with practical techniques for the future."

"Ed has been a leadership coach for one of our board directors. Not only has he transformed the performance of the individual but he has won the respect of the CEO for his transparency, integrity and commercial approach."

"The coaching that Ed gave me has really paid off. It has delivered tangible and noticeable results that have made a positive impact in my day to day work. He is insightful and pushed me hard – but always at the right time and with sensitivity. As a result of my work with Ed, I have regained my energy and confidence and look forward to the journey ahead."

"Ed‘s extensive track record of achieving change and transforming leadership behaviour ensures practicality not philosophy and a real ability to coach and persuade leaders to tackle the challenges which hinder performance improvement."

"Ed was very good at helping me with something I needed to work on – not rescuing people. He subtly steers you towards each revelation and works with you to consider what you can do about them. It wasn’t always easy but it was certainly to my benefit."

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