We work with  talented individuals who want to excel as leaders and build outstanding teams

“You are here. You can get there. But you have to understand that what got you here won’t get you there.”

                                                                                                       Marshall Goldsmith

 

Testimonials

Olwyn provided executive coaching for me through a period of key career progression. This time was incredibly valuable in extending my awareness, consideration and strategies for a number of valuable leadership principles: how to motivate and inspire, delegation, resilience, communication, development of personal leadership style, and many more. Outside the tangible benefit of having the chance to bounce ideas off someone as experienced, personable and insightful as Olwyn, I found the pace, structure and quality of learning at our sessions incredibly powerful for my personal and professional development. Thank you Olwyn!

Jon Addison, Head of Talent Solutions

LinkedIn UK

“My coaching engagement with Olwyn provided me with an opportunity to step away from the business periodically and discuss both my personal and business agenda to drive improvement in the strategy. A good example of her value to us was a workshop that she facilitated to galvanize my management team around our vision and set a clear mission for the business and this was very well done.”

Adam Bangle, Vice President Worldwide Sales

EMC

“When I started the coaching process, I decided to fully engage with what it offered but I wasn’t really sure what to expect. But a year on, as I look back at the time that I have spent with Olwyn as my executive coach, I realise that it was extraordinary. It has truly accelerated my learning. I took the feedback and rather than getting defensive about it, I digested it and found new strategies to deal with challenging situations and people. I have grown and evolved as a leader and feel more confident in how I lead others. I have built capability and bench strength in the team and sought ways to develop them too. I start my new leadership role wiser, more confident with greater resilience to tackle what lies ahead.”

Christophe Barut, Legal Director Southern Europe

Dell

“What really worked well with Olwyn was the team building planning; the Feedback process model; the First 90 days planning for their new teams; Olwyn is a good sounding board for real-time team management planning; Building high performance teams; Personal coaching on management style and career development.”

Scott Dodds, Chief Marketing Officer

Microsoft UK

“Olwyn truly challenged me to think very differently and kept pushing me back to what I needed to focus on to be a more successful leader. She helped me to spend time thinking about this and reflecting on different approaches I could consider taking and sometimes she just helped me see the “wood from the trees”. I want to express my thanks to Olwyn for holding me true to investing time in my development and guiding me on this new journey and new experience, it’s much appreciated and I know there is still more to come!”

Caroline McClafferty, HR Director

Abbvie

Companies We Have Guided

  • Agilent Technologies
  • Dow Jones

Dell, EMC, Astellas Pharmaceuticals, DSM, Life Technologies, State Street, NHS, 
University of Surrey, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, BGL, 
PZ Cussons, Premier Foods, McKinsey

About Us

Pure Potential is a leadership and management development consultancy established in 2000 by Olwyn Merritt. As former business leaders ourselves, we combine our first-hand business experience with consulting and coaching skills to achieve great results with our clients.

Olwyn Merritt
Olwyn Merritt
Director & Founder
Neville Headshot Smart Cropped 1000px
Neville Merritt
Director
Who

We work with senior executives, directors, high potential individuals and teams at board level in major blue-chip companies and fast-growing SMEs to develop their people and deliver greater value to their organizations.

Where

We specialize in the high tech, pharmaceutical and financial services sectors in the UK, mainland Europe, North America and Asia.

Value

As experienced business executives, we know the importance of measurable results. We have worked with our clients for many years and seen the tangible rewards through our systematic approach to development.

Unique Approach

We bring a practical, not just a theoretical approach to our clients. We work as your business partner, and invest time in understanding what you are trying to achieve first. We then design our programmes to integrate with your strategic objectives.

Field Notes

Insights, inspiration and ideas. Observations on real-life challenges that our clients are facing, and practical strategies to address them.

How to tap into human instincts to build engagement

Our amazing brains do more than think. They have additional activities running constantly in the background, just as they have done for thousands of years to keep us alive in times of extreme danger. Most of us don’t have to worry about predators lurking behind rocks anymore. Instead we can use that hidden brain activity to help build relationships and influence others: customers, colleagues, stakeholders, friends and of course family.

How great leaders use communication as an agent of change

Highlights for Leaders by Olwyn Merritt Change is both scary and exhilarating in equal part. Many of the leaders who I coach are experiencing significant change in their organisations. They often are very clear about their goals in transforming their organisations, but they can face challenges in their communications to those they have to lead or influence in these testing times. Nancy Duarte’s excellent book “Illuminate” offers some great examples

How to create an early-warning system for your business

The quarter-end scenario It is the end of the financial quarter. Sales orders are below target and the sales team is rushing around trying to close as many orders as possible. The development director has just told you that the release date for your new product will have to slip by two months because the coding took longer than expected. Problems with one major project resulted in the professional services

5 Steps to Ensure Your Training Investment Leads to Results

……. “We spend money on training but we don’t see any result – is it worth it?” This is a common reaction at senior level, particularly in times of uncertainty where every discretionary spend is under scrutiny. My response is: make it worth it. The purpose of training is to change something – increase knowledge, improve skills or change behaviour. There is no point in training without paying close attention

Group of people

How to influence without authority

We often find ourselves working in matrix environments, working in virtual teams or simply trying to get something done by someone in another part of the business. This common aspect of our working lives has a common challenge: how to influence other people to help us or do something for us, when they don’t report to us. Pulling rank or bullying might work once, but we need to build a

Pig Farmer

How to choose measures that work

Weighing the pig Once upon a time, a group of simple villagers were facing rising meat prices. They decided to buy a piglet, fatten it up and share out the meat between them. They went off to a farmer to buy a piglet. “Here’s a great little pig,” said the farmer. “You weigh him regularly and you’ll see how fast he grows.” So the villagers took the pig home, and

How to transform your team’s performance and engagement using game psychology

Anyone who plays popular computer games or has children that do, will confirm that they can be highly engaging to the point of being addictive – particularly the massively multiplayer online (MMO) games. If people can be so engaged with gaming, why can’t they be as engaged in the workplace? A simple analysis of game psychology shows that there are a number of concepts that can be adopted very easily.

Gerald Rosen

How to deliver complex messages – successfully!

I am sure we have all done it – you have a great idea, an important message or a brilliant product and you explain it to your audience of colleagues, team or customers. But they don’t get it! How can this be? Surely they could see how compelling this is. But they couldn’t. Many of us fall into the trap of being so enthused about our message that we go

Carrots

Four ways to re-ignite your team

At an Executive Workshop I ran this week, I was asked by a senior manager for specific advice for motivating, delegating increasing team performance. This is a common request but he seemed particularly troubled. I asked him to tell me a little more about his team. “My team is made up of some significantly different personalities. They seem motivated by different things, their ability to do the job varies and

Gossips

There is somebody out there talking about you

Whether you know it or not, like it or not, there is someone out there talking about you. They are not making things up – in fact they are only repeating what you have told them. The problem is, you may not have told them enough to create the right impression. Worse still, you may have told them something which is now way out of date but they are still

Frustration

Important or Urgent – can you prioritise both?

Recently I was asked to help a senior team of dedicated professionals who provided a key advisory role to the board in a major multinational. They wanted to be even more effective as demands on their time increase, but were facing challenges. It is a familiar story. Their challenges are similar to the challenges many of us are experiencing in our work: too many emails; too many demands; feeling we

How to hit sales targets

How to hit revenue targets without worrying about sales

The Problem How many sales meetings, executive meetings and board meetings have we all endured where sales results are behind expectations and most of the meeting is taken up by micro-analysing every sale in its final stages to see if it can be closed? A lot. In fact, I can remember only a handful that were relaxed and that was because the year’s quota was in the bag already. How

Millennials

From university to your company: how ready are graduates?

In my experience, today’s graduates are bright, driven and great fun to have on board. But perhaps not quite as ready as we thought. Apart from the fortunate ones who were able to spend a placement year in industry (which thank goodness is becoming more common), many graduates will previously have had relatively low-paid, short term jobs probably in hospitality or retail. Even the more applied subjects like business studies

Inner game of tennis Andy Murray

Our Favourite Books on Inspiration: “The Inner Game of Tennis”

The Inner Game of Tennis – Timothy Gallwey At first glance, his book would seem to be suitable for tennis players but it so much more. Best-selling author Timothy Gallwey tackles the problem of how human beings interfere with their own ability to achieve and learn. Based on his own experience of taking part in competitive tennis matches, he suggests that every game has actually two parts – the outer

Teams

Our Favourite Books on Teams: “The Wisdom of Teams”

The Wisdom of Teams – Jon R. Katzenbach If you’re seriously interested in diagnosing nonperforming teams and creating ones that perform, you’ll enjoy this book. This book is the result of research into why teams are important, what separates effective from ineffective teams, and how organizations can tap into the rigour of building highly effective teams which combine to make high-performance organizations. Katzenbach and Smith share their insights into what

Marshall Goldsmith Olwyn Merritt

Our Favourite Leadership Books: “What got you here won’t get you there”

What got you here won’t get you there – Marshall Goldsmith I am incredibly fortunate to be able to work with Marshall Goldsmith, world-renowned business educator and coach. Dr. Marshall Goldsmith is the leading expert in leadership behavioural coaching and has a singular ability to help top leaders get results using practical and proven methods. This book is for you if you are an ambitious executive who works hard and is

Millennials

The truth behind 7 Millennial myths that can supercharge your business

Interest in the so-called Millennial Generation (those born between 1980 and 2000) has spawned a whole new industry of consultants, writers and academics, all keen to persuade us that these people are different as employees and consumers. They tell us that Millennials require a different approach to employment and management than the previous generations of Generation X and Baby Boomers, but is that really true? There have been a number

Shackleton leadership lessons

Our Favourite Leadership Books: “Shackleton’s Way”

Shackleton’s Way  – Margot Morrell and Stephanie Capparelli If you are seeking an inspiring book about a leader who showed the true essence of great leadership under pressure, then this book will not disappoint. From 1914 to 1916, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men survived the wreck of their ship, Endurance, in the crushing Antartic ice, stranded twelve hundred miles from civilisation with no means of communication and no hope

Why Sales can no longer be a silo – collaboration rules!

Recently I heard someone say that the behaviour of the modern savvy buyer has caused the traditional sales model to be turned on its head. I’m not sure about that, but it definitely needs to be turned 90 degrees to the right. The traditional product cycle was to develop a product or service, pass it to marketing to promote, marketing would pass leads to sales and sales would follow up with

value proposition workshop from Pure Potential

Customers want value, not “solutions”!

When I first moved into a sales role, it was drummed into me that I was to sell “solutions”, not products. Solution selling became the mantra for decades, and it even became a trademarked methodology. Unfortunately, the term has become so over-used in sales circles that it is in danger of becoming meaningless. If you ask a sales executive if they sell products or solutions, they will usually say “Solutions,

See all Field Notes

Resources

A treasure trove of videos, podcasts and light reads that will help you on your way. More in-depth guides are circulated to our Ascent Club members. If you would like access to our free Ascent Club resources please register here

Amy Cuddy

Our Favourite TED talks: “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are”

Amy Cuddy, Associate Professor at Harvard Business School, on the proven link between what we do and hormones, which in turn affects what we do and how we are perceived. This is especially interesting for leaders working on developing their executive presence.

Sir Ken Robinson Wikimedia

Our Favourite TED Talks: “Do schools kill creativity?”

The classic TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson on creativity and perception of talent. Ten million views later it still resonates.

Leadership Coaching from Pure Potential

Next Step Leadership Fitness Test

A 16-page self-assessment and guide  designed to help you develop awareness of and focus on the key areas that will improve your performance as a true leader. It is based on our  “Five Signature Leadership Capacities” from the Ascent leadership development programme.