Unleashing Leadership Potential: Insights and Inspiration from Nicola Ellwood

Nicola Ellwood is a seasoned professional in the realm of leadership coaching. She works globally with CEOs, directors and senior managers helping each one be their best. With over 20 years of experience in leadership development and executive coaching, Nicola brings a unique blend of expertise and practical insight to her work. Having led departments and teams to senior levels herself, she understands the intricacies of effective leadership firsthand. Since 2014, Nicola has been running her consultancy, drawing upon her diverse experience gained from working in various sectors and industries. Prior to her consultancy, she held significant roles, including Head of Personal Development for the UK’s leading employee engagement and communication agency. We at EliteX, are proud to introduce Nicola Ellwood as one of Impactful Leadership Coaches to Follow, in 2024.

Nicola’s journey into leadership coaching began early in her career. Fresh out of university, she found herself immersed in coaching while delivering training courses at Dale Carnegie International. It was here that she discovered her passion for unlocking leadership potential through meaningful conversations. For Nicola, impactful leadership begins with the individual. She believes that leaders must be equipped to embody the qualities they wish to instill in others, including confidence, consistency, self management, clarity of vision, and effective communication skills. Moreover, Nicola emphasizes the importance of empathy, self awareness and the capability to have difficult conversations, and the ability to elevate teams upwards and beyond day-to-day tasks.

“The journey of leadership is not about reaching a destination; it’s about igniting the fire in others and being the leader that others want to come on the journey with” – Nicola Ellwood

In her coaching approach, Nicola adopts a person-centred methodology, tailoring each session to the unique needs of the individual within the organisation. By listening and understanding the individual’s strengths, challenges, and aspirations, she facilitates  them towards overcoming limits and unleashing their  best potential. Nicola’s extensive toolkit enables her to facilitate movement, transition, and change. Her Master Coach approach and her tool kit enable her to help her clients get better, more meaningful result, faster.

One remarkable success story from Nicola’s coaching involves a female leader aiming to break through the glass ceiling in a male-dominated financial environment. Initially burdened with anxiety, she experienced a transformative shift within a single coaching session. Clear, congruent and  ready to showcase her potential, she left that session and secured a promotion, demonstrating the profound impact of belief, strategy and support in leadership development. Another inspiring example comes from Nicola’s leadership and communication skills program for England Golf ‘Our Leaders’, where a participant transitioned from disengagement to actively engaged becoming a dynamic force for positive change and growth. The participant’s testimonial speaks volumes: “Amazing – I’ve reconnected with the ‘REAL’ me. I’ve gained confidence and trust in others and the skills, confidence and belief to lead others and change myself for the better.”

To help leaders overcome challenges, Nicola employs various strategies tailored to each individual. She helps them to envision who they can and want to be and then facilitates their self-exploration, benchmarking against their ideal. Utilizing her skills as a double Master Practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and other techniques and tools,Nicola facilitates transformative change  by helping them overcome their limiting beliefs and evolving unproductive behaviors, propelling them towards their desired version of themselves

“Leadership begins with self-awareness; know who you are at your best. Know who you are when not at your best and know why that’s the case. Develop strong strategies to lead your world, and yourself as the version that you want to be – and that others need you to be ” – Nicola Ellwood

Staying updated with the latest trends and developments in leadership coaching is integral to Nicola’s approach. She avidly consumes thought-leadership articles on culture, neuroscience and social science. Nicola also prioritizes continuous professional development (CPD), regularly attending coaching refreshers and new courses to refine her skills, fill her toolkit and keep her approach fresh.

Nicola firmly believes in the pivotal role empathy plays in effective leadership. Leaders must be attuned to the emotions and experiences of others, fostering a sense of rapport and respect within their teams. By treating people the way they wish to be treated and actively practicing empathy, leaders can build stronger connections and appreciation among their team members.

To foster continuous growth and development in the leaders she coaches, Nicola equips them with the tools to become their own coaches. Through NLP and self-awareness exercises, her clients learn to challenge unproductive thinking and develop strategies for self-management and personal growth. Nicola’s ultimate goal is to make her clients self-sufficient leaders capable of driving their own development journey. Nicola utilizes a powerful insight and change tool called PRINT®, which provides deep personal insights to enhance leadership effectiveness. PRINT® helps leaders understand their core and unconscious motivations, enabling them to align their actions with their values and overcome obstacles to being their best.  Combined with her NLP toolkit, Nicola help her clients to develop strategies that allow them to consistently show up as their best selves.

Addressing resistance or skepticism towards leadership coaching, Nicola emphasizes the importance of self-awareness and rapport building. By demonstrating the potential for personal growth and establishing a strong coach-coachee relationship, Nicola helps clients overcome doubts and embrace the coaching process. In Nicola’s view, what distinguishes a good leader from a great leader lies in two key areas. Great leaders actively co-create a shared vision with their team, fostering collaboration and ownership. Additionally, great leaders create an environment where people feel valued, safe, and motivated to achieve collective goals.

To measure the success of her coaching programs, Nicola collaborates with her clients to define clear outcomes and milestones. Success is assessed based on the progress made towards these goals, including improvements in confidence, clarity of strategy, and overcoming limiting beliefs or behaviours. Forleaders seeking to enhance their effectivenessNicola encourages individuals to identify their strengths and strive to consistently embody their best selves. Additionally, she urges leaders to confront their ‘Shadow’—the aspects of themselves that can hinder their leadership. Thinking and behaviour that is unproductive.  potential. As Carl Jung says – ‘everyone has a Shadow and the less embodied it is in our consciousness, the bigger and the darker it gets’. Know your Shadow and overcome it to be your best.

“Whatever we think we are we are so much more. Leadership is about unlocking potential, both in ourselves and in others, to create a future filled with possibility.” – Nicola Ellwood

By understanding oneself and committing to growth,  leaders can inspire others and create meaningful change in their organizations and communities. With a genuine passion for helping leaders reach their highest potential, Nicola Ellwood is dedicated to making a lasting impact in the world. She has a global reach and her purpose in life is to help people be their best. Nicola loves what she does and as her clietns will tell you, it shows.