Working with Leaders and their Successors


“The impact of working with Stephen is that he provides a controlled and ‘safe’ environment for me to validate and check my thoughts, behaviour and responses to the challenges I face on both a prospective and retrospective basis. His insight and relevant experience is integral to the quality and usefulness of his coaching and on tactical and strategic matters.”

Jenny Knott, Chief Executive, CIB International, Standard Bank Plc.

“Stephen coached me and my team through a business integration. Thanks to his help we reduced transformational uncertainties and were able to build a strong team. His interpersonal skills in one-to-one coaching sessions and group workshops as well as his profound management experience were indispensable.”

Johannes Anschott, Country Manager UK, Commerzbank

“Stephen’s holistic approach is extremely honest, developmental and issue focused. His broad background in business helped me to really understand the challenges I faced from multiple perspectives.”

Ian Cutler HR Director Global Businesses Willis

“Stephen helped me develop leadership, management and communication skills needed to grow my business effectively. He provided both fresh perspective on challenges I faced and good ideas for identifying and tackling them in the future.”

Igor Smirnov, Head of Flow Research Group, BNP Paribas

“Having worked with Stephen on a number of engagements at multiple firms I would have no hesitation in recommending him. He has had a great impact coaching senior executives across multiple geographies and business units. He offers great coaching insight and that, mixed with his extensive industry experience, makes him one of the best in the business.”

Director, Organizational & Associate Development – Financial Services.

“Stephen is someone I turn to for advice on my most complicated management challenges. He is always calm, always insightful, and always able to help me understand what I am actually trying to do. Unlike other experts, he never resorts to a template of opinion or a set way of doing things. Instead, he encourages me to describe the situation in which I find myself, and then to see the best way to change things. He is someone I feel lucky to be able to turn to whenever a challenge arises.”

Debora Spar, president, Barnard College, NYC


Stephen Barden has worked with public and private sector leaders in the USA, Europe, Britain and Africa. His clients have come from the corporate, universities, banking, financial, legal, media, entertainment, technology, accountancy, public housing, government and HR sectors.

Stephen has a post graduate Diploma in Professional Coach-mentoring for Senior Executives from the Oxford School of Coaching and Mentoring. He is a member of the EMCC and Association of Coaching. He has trained in Organizational Development, and Coaching Supervision. He is a fully accredited mediator and an alumnus of the PMD Executive programme of Harvard Business School.

He is currently engaged in a doctoral research programme with the University of Middlesex on learning amongst top leaders.

Prior to his leadership practice, Stephen Barden was a prominent leader himself. He was:

  • CEO of a number of organizations – including Axel Springer Television, Quadriga plc and News Digital Systems.
  • COO of BSkyB and Managing Editor of TV-Am
  • Founder of a broadband wireless technology company as well as a media agency.

Stephen Barden is a writer on leadership and has developed and facilitated a wide range of workshops and seminars.