Consultant story:

Steve Dannan, Resilient Leaders Consultant

We asked Steve Dannan, Chief Operating Officer at Shawston International, to tell us about his experience.  

"The RLE fits into everything I’m doing.  It’s now part of my language and my thinking when I’m reflecting and coaching my team at work.


The impact it has is tangible.”

Why did you need leadership training?

It’s part of my own professional development.  I'd completed my International Coach Federation qualification and was using it to do executive coaching whilst in my previous role as Head of Innovation.  I came to be working alongside Rachel, one of the founders of RLE, on a leadership programme that used the RLDP.  I saw the impact it was having, and it felt like a natural addition to my coaching.

How have you used the RLE in your current role?

When I joined, the founder owner wanted to take a step back from the day to day running of the business but didn’t have a natural successor.  Part of my role was to provide interim support until we developed the capability of an internal successor who could then step in and lead.   

Our internal candidate had huge potential but was inexperienced as a senior leader.  His early RLA results showed a lack of self-awareness and that provided a focus for our coaching.  


By focusing on the ‘Who I Am’ side of his resilient leadership, the RLDP helped him to find his natural style of leadership which in turn helped him relax and build his confidence to be himself.  He has now stepped up and runs the business on a day to day basis, with the senior leadership team reporting into him, and I’m using the resilient leaders framework to help him further develop his capability to manage the increased responsibility.

How have the Challenges helped you professionally?

I did a lot of work in the facets of Awareness of Self and Others.  It has made me so much more understanding.  I now never assume what pressures others are under, I pause and think about how they will perceive what I’m going to say.  

What impact or return on investment has your accreditation had?

At Shawston we identified a succession plan and used the RLDP to help us with that.  If we’d have had to go to market to recruit rather than develop our internal talent our costs would have been significant and prohibitive.  The value of the continuity that this has given the business is unquantifiable 


The RLE language has also rubbed off on the leadership team, we now have a strong language to describe positive leadership behaviours.  It helps us identify our ambitions, blockers and strengths really clearly.  

What are your plans now?

I’m now working with all members of the Senior Leadership Team with the overall objective of helping them to make the transition into a fully self-dependent and effective team.  So that means three new coachees committed to the RLDP for a six-month period.  


I’ve also just signed another of our operations managers to use the RLDP alongside my coaching.  He’s quite intellectual and the simplicity of the leadership challenges within the tool is going to be a real stretch.

What would you say to anybody considering the resilient leaders consultant accreditation course?

The RLE and the RLDP are a great aid to coaching and leadership development.  It just works!  The language is spot on, every title really nicely articulates what a resilient leader looks like. 

It will have a positive impact on your personal life.  It’s a step away from the other profiling tools on the market (there are lots of ways of carving and slicing personality).  The RLDP isn’t trying to do that; regardless of your personality, resilient leadership looks like this and you have an opportunity to see yourself through that lens.  How do you look?

The buddy system that the accreditation establishes has been a brilliant experience for me.  I am still committed to my buddy, reengaging with the challenges and looking at meeting regularly throughout this year.