What inspired me to create Aspire?


Leadership has fascinated me since I was a boy.

When I was 9 I had my tonsils taken out. Apart from eating lots of ice cream and jelly, my other life-long recollection of being in hospital was my father buying me a children’s book on great leaders throughout history. The stories of their achievements led me to dream of my own adventures to come.

Fortunately, my early attempts at leadership were failures.

I eventually realised that just wanting to be a leader did not make me a leader.

Over the following years, I closely observed leaders in business, sport, politics, the military, religion, charities, social groups, across many countries and cultures – the inspiring, the good, the woeful, the evil. I looked for the broad and the fine strokes that made up the art of leadership. What were these leaders doing, saying, evoking that drove others to action – whether for achieving the great, the just, the irrational or the horrific.

It was only in my 30s when studying neuropsychology in London, that I discovered that science was now able to answer many of the leadership questions which had previously been the domain of philosophers and poets. Using high-technology research equipment, we can see what happens in our brains and bodies when we experience the acts of leading and being led. For the first time, we can merge the art and the science of leadership to explain our cognitive and emotional responses.

The key insights from my studies and experiences which have shaped my approach to developing effective leaders are helping them:

  • be conscious of their own purpose and authentic selves;
  • develop their leadership mindset;
  • learn what motivates each person in their team;
  • connect each person to the organisation’s purpose;
  • make each person feel that what they do matters; and
  • encourage each person to continue to grow.

Once leaders think and act with the genuine desire to unleash the greatness in their people, their lives will be forever changed and enriched – as well as the lives of those they lead.

I now find that I apply this mindset to a wide range of situations in my life – not only at work, but as a husband, father, uncle, friend – even coaching my daughters’ netball team.

And I still have a long way to go!

My hopes for my own leadership impact are now far more humble than those of that young hospital-bound boy – but just maybe, by enrichening others with the mindset of authentic leadership, the benefits may be far more rewarding and long-lasting.

My other passions: Chief chauffeur and cheer leader

D-A-D taxi and sports-supporter services

I spend much of my weekends and evenings driving my daughters to netball, dancing, music and swimming events – and countless birthday parties and play-dates. This is a very emotionally rewarding past time (but not financially beneficial) and continually teaches me how much I have to learn to be a better father and person.

The team

Aspire has an extensive network of talented, passionate leadership development professionals whom Floreal has worked very closely with for many years.

The most appropriate specialists will support the design and delivery of your particular learning solution.

What my clients say!

Ruth Smith – Customer Culture and Belonging at IAG

Floreal has supported me both in being a confident and leadership coach. Floreal has a unique talent for creating an environment where I could explore challenges and create new ideas from a space of trust and genuine care. He has the ability to listen to more than the words, but also the ‘context and what isn’t being said’… asking the thought provoking questions to inspire action! Thanks Floreal – wishing you the very best in your next adventure!