What People say about Claire Walton

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Jo Davies - MD - HR Alchemy

““I am writing this testimonial to express my appreciation for the outstanding coaching services provided by Claire Walton. As someone who sought support during a challenging period in my life, I can confidently attest to the transformative impact of Claire’s expertise and compassionate approach.
From our initial session, Claire created a non-judgmental space where I felt comfortable sharing my thoughts and challenges.
Claire possesses a rare combination of business expertise and genuine care. Her ability to actively listen and offer constructive feedback fostered an environment of trust, allowing me to open up and explore areas of my work life that I had previously not considered.
I am immensely grateful to Claire for her expertise, empathy, and unwavering support. The positive impact of our sessions extends beyond the actual face to face meetings, influencing my personal / business growth and well-being in a meaningful way.” ”

MD - HR Alchemy

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Anna Brown - HR Director

“I started some Exec coaching with Claire during a period of significant personal change and on the back of a pretty burnt out two years helping the business through Covid, like lots of other People professionals. The motivation to work with a coach was probably initially, driven by a need to have support to manage a step-up in professional accountability, with the goal of becoming more confident and less frazzled.

My curiosity about how, a stranger who I’d never met in person, was going to help equip me with the scaffolding to achieve my highest potential quickly changed to an ‘oh, this isn’t going to be a one-way street with someone telling me to take a rest at every water station along the route…….!’.

Claire’s approach is honest and challenging. (returning the honesty!) I found this pushed me to dig deep and reflect on some of the self-limiting thought processes it’s easy to make.

Claire has a superpower to ground you while inspiring you and what I value most of all about her style is the ownership she instils to challenge yourself to reflect and grow.

I’ve also worked with Claire as part of a team-coaching session and her ability to connect a group of very different individuals but very similarly motivated people in a short period of time, cut straight to the spirit of the team.

By no means do I consider Claire’s finished making a difference to my future self, as I’ll forever use some of the techniques and reflection, she’s provided me with, but the restart she’s helped me press is something I’ll always be grateful for.

HR Director

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Maureen Brown - Managing Director

“A few years ago, I was looking for coaching as my business was growing and I felt I was lacking in the confidence required to take us forward and keep my team motivated and engaged. I had grown a brilliant team and knew I wasn’t being the leader they deserved.
I approached Claire as I had known her as part of my HR network and seen her speak at various events over the years. I felt it was important to have a coach I could trust and who would inspire me to improve.
In the first instance, Claire was an outstanding listener! As with many business owners/leaders, I had a lot in my head and Claire listened patiently to help me identify where I really needed help. That done, Claire was able to give me theory, backed up with practical exercises that tackled my personal challenges including that old favourite – imposter syndrome! Claire had the right balance of empathy and understanding combined with action focus and practical solution. She motivated me to help myself and inspired me to stick with her recommendations and tell her when they worked.
During the sessions, I learned techniques that led to some complete lightbulb moments and genuinely changed me as a leader. My confidence grew and I still use those techniques now. Claire was excellent at staying connected in between sessions and we still talk regularly now. Her expertise and approach were the perfect combination of support and challenge, and I would highly recommend her to any leaders looking to develop their own skills and self-awareness.”

Managing Director

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Liam O’Mahony - Regional General Manager, Ocado Group

“I would highly recommend the Super Neuro You coaching programme, for anyone who wants to invest in a journey of self-improvement and really discover some tools and techniques that can help them to deliver more effectively whilst navigating all of those things that can get in the way.

Claire offers expertly relevant industry experience, insight and delivers in a style that is personable, effective and fun. Her programme encourages self-reflection, a deeper understanding of what your goals are and then the action required to connect you with your own version of high-performance.

Claire has really helped me as a leader to understand and connect with my goals, to be authentic and develop a mindset of how I want to achieve success. The coaching has really benefited my career, my team and my family but most of all my whole way of approaching daily life. ”

Regional General Manager, Ocado Group

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Karl Pemberton - Managing Director – Active Financial Planners

“I firmly believe that everyone has a period in their lives where they struggle. For a multitude of reasons, we try to fathom out the, what? Why? When? and how? but often the hardest part can be the 'who?'. For me 'who' related to 'who can I speak to?', 'who will understand?', 'who will help me?' etc. By pure chance, a friend introduced me to Claire, and straight away I'd found my 'who'. All the other questions that I was struggling to solve on my own were then also answered. She helped me rediscover the person I used to be, and ultimately the person I wanted to be moving forward. For that, I cannot thank her enough. She will always remain affectionately known as 'my Fixer'.”

Managing Director – Active Financial Planners

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Debi Bailey - CEO NEAT Academy Trust

“Although I have worked with Claire for a relatively short period of time, it is no exaggeration to say Claire has transformed how I approach both challenges and priorities within my role and the pressures we all face as part of normal life.

As CEO of a multi academy trust, my experience was steeped in school leadership, through Claire's breadth of experience and skills as a coach, she has challenged and supported me to be my 'best self' and reflect on how I enable colleagues across the organisation to be their 'best self'.

I find Claire authentic, professional, and honest and her expertise in coaching is enabling me to be a curious, confident, and courageous leader.”

CEO NEAT Academy Trust

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Gareth Thomas - People and OD Director Brandon Trust

“I have worked with Claire in various capacities for nearly 20 years and now in the capacity of Executive coach.

She was instrumental in helping my previous executive team understand the need for a new direction and strategy and helped us to implement a really successful culture change in the business. Part of this challenge was to ensure that the executive team were able to work cogently to drive the change agenda. Claire was responsible facilitating the development of the executive team through exploring values-based leadership approaches, personal styles, and joint goals. The result was a cohesive and driven executive team able to lead a significant change with a sense of vulnerability-based trust the likes of which I have rarely seen.

As well as the executive team development Claire also worked with our Finance and HR teams to ensure that they were aligned to and able to deliver the agreed vision of the business. She continues to coach me and members of my current People and Organisational Development team at Brandon Trust.

Claire offers a very human approach to leadership and change coupled with a deep insight in knowledge of organisational change and the how businesses and individuals respond to it.

Claire is challenging, supportive, motivational, authentic and above all results focussed.

As a coaching client of Claire for many years now, I have found that she is versatile and adaptable to ensure that I get exactly what I need from our sessions. She offers structure and transparency so that it is clear to all the key stakeholders what results her coaching interventions are intended to bring.”

People and OD Director Brandon Trust

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Bob Andrews - CEO Benenden Health

“Working with 'Leaders are MAD' has definitely been a great experience. Claire has a knack for getting to the heart of the matter. Her coaching style is insightful and genuinely uplifting. She has a constructively direct, intuitive approach that really helps teams face the challenges before them and then to navigate an appropriate strategic direction. Claire is flexible in her methods and seeks regular feedback to ensure full engagement....and she is not afraid to change tack if that is the right thing to do.

I have had the pleasure of working with Claire both in a personal capacity as well as part oof a senior leadership and Executive team. In each case, I have found her to be genuine and appropriately challenging. Definitely not afraid to say it as she sees it but equally set in an agreed framework so that her coaching is received well and not defensively.

In my 121 coaching Claire has helped me to understand others in far more colour, helping me to reflect about my interactions and approach to get the best out of my relationships with others. Claire has also challenged me to take a more determined look at my career choices which has been a real 'eye opening' experience.

The difference Claire has made to me is simply to re-assess my goals and to strive harder in my achievement. She has made me realise where my motivation lies and has helped shine a light on the path to realise that ambition.”

CEO Benenden Health

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Helen Smith - Chief Commercial Officer – Co-op Life Services

“Wow, when it comes to superpowers Claire has them in abundance! Her ability to get right to the real heart of a challenge and work with you to solve it is truly transformational.

I’ve been working with Claire as a coach for the past 3 years. We’ve worked through many different scenarios from transitioning bosses to leaving a role and onwards to securing my dream role and everything in between. Her approach is practical, holistic, and focussed on ensuring you are being truly honest with yourself in all aspects of your life.

Claire’s impact on me as a leader and as a mother, wife, sister, friend has been amazing. I’m more confident, collaborative, open, curious, and able to embrace life’s opportunities. We also have a lot of laughs along the way

Buy the book, read the book, do the work – it will make a difference. Here’s to all our superpowers!”

Chief Commercial Officer – Co-op Life Services

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Susan Fulton - Director of people – Home Group

“When I first met Claire, I experienced her as a passionate individual with a bubbly personality, full of creativity and great ideas. She has worked with me and my team on several occasions. One example was when she co-designed our flagship development programme “Brilliant Conversations”. I wanted Claire to help us shake up our approach to Performance Management and get my HR team and our managers to think and behave differently. This programme was a huge success and has helped develop our values led culture.

Claire’s values are very much aligned to ours and this is of significant importance. She is caring, accountable, commercial, and energising. If you also want enthusiasm, leading edge thinking, challenge, and innovation then Claire is what you are looking for.”

Director of people – Home Group

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Ann Corbyn - Executive Director, people & Organisational Development Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Trust

“Previously my boss, when Head of HR in a Financial Services organisation many years ago, Claire has since continued as one of my mentors, helping me navigate some difficult issues throughout my Career. I have also hired Claire as a Coach for my CEO and other members of the Executive Team, in one of my organisations. As Coach, Claire asks the right questions to get you to see resolutions for yourself. She helps you see the critical issues within the team and identify how you can resolve them effectively. This made a significant difference to our Executive team’s effectiveness at a time when we faced many challenges.

What you can expect from Claire is humane, direct professionalism.”

Executive Director, people & Organisational Development Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Trust

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Rob Phillips - Group Finance Director - The BBI Group

“I have worked with Claire for many years now. She has supported one of the Exec teams I was part of, helping us to create our organisational strategy and then went on to coach the team to understand how best to work effectively together.

Claire has also coached me for several years and I always find her very knowledgeable, professional and with very high integrity.”

Group Finance Director - The BBI Group

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Emma Storey Harris - Disney

“As someone who is somewhat early on in their career, Claire has helped me completely alter my approach to how I envision the role I’m in, the team around me, my future goals & how the small & tangible skills I’ve been taught over the course of my sessions can have significant impact in the supporting of both my personal and professional growth.

Claire’s methods have given me the tools to incorporate into my day to day that have helped develop my skills in team management and overcoming challenges with integrity & empathy, always ensuring I take moments out of my day to ‘Inflate and breathe’ and refresh my perceptions. I’ve appreciated having a space to grow as I build my personal brand and develop in my role, with Claire’s teachings on how I can improve my connections with purpose & passion and to always remain curious.”


Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Rachael Elliott - Counsellor, Psychotherapist and Coach

“I have known Claire for over 10 years. Some descriptions that come to mind are her passion for personal development, tenacity, and straight forward approach. Claire has coached many of my aspiring leaders when I worked as a Senior Manager of a large Operations Function. She helped them on their personal and professional transformations and in every case, she helped change awareness, motivation and application of skills and behaviour. People weren’t just going along with the coaching, they affected real change, for themselves, their teams, and the business.

I was also part of a team coached by Claire. Coaching created profound personal and collective discoveries and commitments which we anchored back to for years after.

What Claire does is deliver lasting change at an individual, team, and organisational level.”

Counsellor, Psychotherapist and Coach

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Lorraine Masters - Deputy Director Organisational Development Northumbria University

“I met Claire on a one-day authentic leadership course and was instantly drawn to her. As someone in a similar field of work myself, it takes a lot to impress me, but Claire really did. Her delivery style, knowledge, and clear passion for what she does was inspiring and in just a few short breakout discussions with her, she helped me understand more about my own personal values than I have in my life to date! It was the follow up coaching session though that really made me think ‘wow’, she is good. Having received coaching on a number of occasions over the years, I had an expectation of how the session would go but I was wrong.

I would describe Claire’s approach as eclectic and very client led. She works with what you present to her and has such breadth of knowledge! She very quickly got underneath the surface of some deep-rooted and very personal issues and I can honestly say that one session has been life changing for me, it left me feeling like a ball and chain had been released! Since then, I have commissioned Claire to deliver a couple of work assignments, coaching executives and transforming a very broken team. The feedback has been phenomenal with participants also using the words ‘life-changing’. Personally, and in a work capacity I cannot recommend Claire enough, once she connects with you, she is always there for you in whatever capacity you need her, and I am now proud to call her my friend.

If I had to describe Claire in one word, I’d use phenomenal! If you want to work with an exec coach who will take you to a place you didn’t know you could go, and who will help you to transform your life, whether that be in a personal sense or at work, Claire is the one for you. She is by a million miles the best coach I have ever had.”

Deputy Director Organisational Development Northumbria University

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Lisa Davidson - Chief People Officer - Connect Heath

“I have experienced Claire as both a personal coach and delivering sessions on trust with our senior team. Claire provides clarity in her coaching and can get you to explore (sometimes uncomfortable) situations. She equips you with tools and techniques to help your situation and encourages testing and refection as part of the process. There are tools I used during and immediately after the coaching and I’m still using those tools years later. Claire has a very open style, is a great listener and has a unique skill in repeating and summarising for you. I have had no hesitation in recommending Claire to my Executive peers and I’m very excited to be able to purchase her new book. ”

Chief People Officer - Connect Heath

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Helen Molloy - Senior HR Lead – South Norfolk Council & Broadland District Council

“Claire has coached and mentored me for many years. For example, she has coached me through an experience of working with a dysfunctional board and in times of conflict with other colleagues. Claire is what I need sometimes as she pushes you, teaches you to look underneath your behaviour and that of others and apply techniques to help you truly understand what is influencing the situation.

She holds a mirror up to you, recommends reading, shares research, and sets you homework. Yes homework! She is not pedestrian or mainstream. She is different. Claire works hard on your behalf and expects you to do the same. Whatever the objective you have for coaching she will find a way to help you make the necessary changes to thought patterns and behaviour, changing your outcomes for the better.

Claire is challenging, fun and authentic. The real deal!”

Senior HR Lead – South Norfolk Council & Broadland District Council

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Michelle O’Rourke - CEO - My Sisters Place

“Claire has been a supporter of My Sisters Place for almost 2 years and is an ambassador for the charity in supporting our efforts to end violence against women and girls. Claire has supported the charity in many ways: through a series of ‘Because your worth it’ workshops delivered for our supporters, coaching for our staff team, and fundraising to support our core work.

We were thrilled to work with Claire and were drawn to her company’s title recognising that Leaders are Making a Difference and working with leaders across sectors to support this. I have personally attended Claire’s workshops and implemented some of the tools and learning into my everyday work and life.

Claire’s offer to coach some of our team has been invaluable to those individuals

“Coaching with Claire has helped me to work through everyday challenges, develop my management style and helped me to find solutions. Claire has helped me reflect, see my strengths and focus on my purpose as a leader and motivated me when I have really needed it”

“Claire just gets it. I am so grateful for her input and have had several lightbulb moments after applying her techniques that can be used straightaway”

We would like to congratulate Claire on her first book Super Neuro You and say a huge thank you for the ongoing support and time she commits to My Sisters Place.”

CEO - My Sisters Place

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Rachel Jones - Registrar - Northumbria University

“I had engaged with coaching before my work with Claire, and whilst it was a supportive experience, it wasn’t transformative. I had reached a point in my career where I felt like some personal and professional setbacks had knocked my confidence. I was looking for a coach who would really push me to change my thought patterns and challenge my unhelpful, self-limiting behaviours. This is exactly what I got from my time with Claire. The sessions were always well-planned, very focussed and action orientated (perfect for my overthinking nature). I genuinely feel moved on by the work we did together, and I feel Claire has given me new tools and strategies to manage the negative voices and channel my energies in a more focussed, effective way. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”

Registrar - Northumbria University

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Sue Ormerod - Regional Director - Nigel Wright

“Claire is original, professional, and challenging in her style and able to bring out the best in people. Claire has worked with Nigel Wright and our professional forums, and we’ve received fantastic feedback - delegates have said that they can’t help but take great ideas and actions from a session with her. I’m delighted that Claire she is continuing to support us as we support our clients throughout 2020. I can’t recommend her highly enough.”

Regional Director - Nigel Wright

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Michelle Donnan - Head of Finance Transformation - Northumbria University

“I have been extremely fortunate to work with Claire this year. As a coach, she first sought to identify what my own goals were, the challenges I felt I faced, and provided several tools and perspectives to really help me to build resilience, improve my self-awareness, and have total confidence in my own resourcefulness and competencies.
Claire ‘got under my skin’ very quickly and I benefited greatly from our first session, the following two being more a reflection of progress and exploring other aspects which came up as my self-awareness developed.
The outcome of my sessions meant I really understood myself and how to be my best at work and create balance at home. I believe this contributed highly to my success, and furthermore gave me the confidence to explore a completely new career challenge.
Claire closed our third coaching session with a promise that she was always at the end of the phone and to check in with her if need be. True to her word, when I was considering making a big change, she was more than happy to touch base, and work with me to ensure I’d explored the options fully.
If you’re looking for a coach who will truly challenge you and make a difference, then Claire’s your woman!”

Head of Finance Transformation - Northumbria University

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Helen Jameson - HR Director - Story Contracting

“I connected with Claire around 12 months ago, when I had taken up a new role in a new sector and was looking for a coach.

I immediately felt at east with Claire, who has a natural and relaxed personal style. Her ability to connect with people means she can adapt her approach according to the personality of her audience, whether that is one person, or a group.

What has most impressed me about Claire is her ability to understand quickly and deeply what the issues are, despite being removed from the situations being discussed. This is very important when you have limited time on your hands and don’t have a history of working together. Claire can apply both personal experience and theory to whatever you are discussing. Her experience of working in a wide variety of settings and roles is helpful, as she can generally find some common ground with what you are talking through and can usually also recommend a book or blog on the subject.

Claire is a great sounding board and confidant. She is very flexible and can adapt our agenda quickly depending on what I need most at that point in time. I have worked with her on a wide range of issues, including working relationships, team dynamics, strategy, and work life balance.

I would thoroughly recommend Claire as a coach, either on an individual or team basis.”

HR Director - Story Contracting

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Kirstie Hodgson - Manager

“Being referred to Claire for coaching sessions by my organisation to be able to develop my confidence in order to achieve a specific goal is the best thing that I have ever done.
It has been such a positive experience, Claire has a wealth of knowledge and is a pleasure to work with, she is so positive and engaging and adds in a good but of humor aswell which was great to help me feel comfortable.
She tailors her sessions to the needs at that time and if things crop up she explores these things in order for me to understand and be able to work through that thought or feeling to then be able to understand this.
Claire is able to share so may valuable resources to be able to work through outside the sessions which is so beneficial to fill time between each time we meet.
When I had a little blip Claire was great at fitting me in for a little catch up and this helped me to get back on track which I was very grateful for.
I wouldn’t hesitate to suggest Claires services to others as this has been invaluable to me… her book is also excellent ”


Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Ben Ridgeway - Managing Director

“I worked with Claire to review and hopefully enhance my leadership capabilities, initially I was sceptical that I would benefit from the coaching but after three sessions I really saw the benefit and would recommend Claire to anyone who is interested in self improvement!

Managing Director

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Anon - Chief People Officer

“As a senior leader I engaged with Claire for some executive coaching. I found Claire very ‘real’ and forthright with her thoughts and feedback. I appreciated her no-nonsense approach and felt it was both refreshing and insightful. Claire helped me to see I’d been following similar unhelpful patterns of behaviour and realised I’m probably my own worst enemy…I now have a complete re-set on how I view situations and feel stronger and more effective as a result.”

Chief People Officer

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Nick - Chief of Sector

“Choosing to work with Claire has to rank as one of the best decisions I've made in recent years. She has guided me on a journey towards becoming a more effective leader but, more than that, a better person. Through Claire, I've obtained clarity around my purpose and mission, in addition to how I'm going to get there. She's a great listener but also a straight talker and someone who holds me to account, gently but deliberately. Thank you, Claire!”

Chief of Sector

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Erin Peart - Director of Campus Services

“Today was my last scheduled session with Leaders are Making A Difference.

I can’t even begin to thank Claire Walton ⚡️ enough for the last few years. She has given me the honest and no nonsense advice I needed, but her compassion and empathy shine through every time we meet.

Her ‘super powers’ 🦸‍♀️are immense, she has an amazing ability to distill everything she hears, everything I throw at her, and turn it into practical solutions and tools I can take with me going forward.

She has made me see myself in a totally different light (sometimes good, sometimes questionable! 😂), but always the perfect balance of support and challenge.

I’m so glad to have had you in my corner! Thank you Claire Walton ⚡️”

Director of Campus Services

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Alex Noble - Finance Control

“I really appreciated and enjoyed Claire’s Peak Performance workshop, it’s helped me to take much better care of myself and focus on my development as a leader who makes a difference. ”

Finance Control

Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Teresa Peters - Coach

“Claire is knowledgeable and credible. I love her style. I am much more intentional about my performance since attending her Peak Performance workshops. As an Exec Coach myself I highly recommend working with Claire. She’s up there with the best!”


Leaders are making a difference Ltd
Jude Wheatley

“Really enjoyed these sessions, a reminder that you need to look after yourself to be able to function at your best and do your best for others – Peak Performance. Thought provoking sessions with useful techniques that you can implement and action to help you move forward and be the better you. Claire’s personable and relatable style allowed for the session to be an open platform and share experiences and learnings as a group to move forward. ”


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