Good leadership begins with genuine respect for every voice in the room.
Phil believes good coaching increases the chances of making better decisions and helps convert challenges into success. He has helped executives thrive as they step into new leadership positions, coached established leaders who are wrestling with the question ‘what next?’ and helped people at all levels who are seeking solutions to the most intractable problems.
Phil believes successful coaching depends on the strength of the connection between coach and client. He aims to build a trusting relationship, one that’s robust enough to allow challenge and bold exploration. He doesn’t leave his own personality at the door and clients value his experience, insight, warmth and humour.
Phil’s broad experience – in Big Law, Private Equity and corporates across multiple sectors – has given him the confidence to challenge with credibility and empathy. His deep-rooted belief that every human being has a unique potential sits at the heart of his coaching philosophy.
As a sports lover and former sports coach, he enjoys helping clients – whether individuals or teams – recognise and maximise their potential. Good leadership, he believes, starts with genuine respect for every voice in the room. He enjoys ‘big picture’ strategic thinking as well as the transformative power of micro-improvements and helps clients cut through the noise to calm, quiet clear-headedness. He believes both coach and client need courage to make a difference.
In his spare time, Phil is a keen reader of modern classic fiction, and is currently working on a novel of his own. When not at his keyboard, he can be found in the saddle, cycling against gravity or racing on Zwift. Or in the kitchen, where his latest obsession is attempting to make the perfect curry – even though he knows this kind of goal is no recipe for a happy life (see Tolstoy quote below).
‘My career has been one of profound continuity (23 years at Travers Smith), followed by profound change (moving to the global Big Law Ropes & Gray for 6 years, and then away from law and into business coaching). The different perspectives afforded me feed into my coaching. I was Head of Private Equity and board member at Travers Smith. I ended my legal career as Global Co-Head of PE at Ropes & Gray. I have led strategic projects. I have been trusted advisor to many private equity clients. I have assisted with the development of international business. But I am most proud of having been able to work with incredible teams, and add value to those teams. As a lawyer, I was ranked as a Leading Individual by both Chambers and Legal 500. If I were coaching myself, I would be looking for the ways in which I most want to thrive and holding myself accountable for what might get me there. While building awareness around what might get in my way.’
‘If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.’ Leo Tolstoy
What Phil’s clients say
Empathetic personality combined with deep insight
‘Phil Sanderson has become the Firm’s trusted advisor through multiple successful partner coaching engagements and assistance at Board level with our strategy. His empathetic personality combined with a deep insight into the legal profession make us all value his thoughtful and relevant contributions.’
Coaching outcomes clear for all to see
‘Phil has added huge value in assisting the Board at a time of new appointments and succession planning. His real skill is earning the respect of everybody, and then encouraging collaboration and effective communication. The coaching outcomes have been clear for all to see. He has done this through personality and the understanding he has from working with PE for 25 years.’