More detail on our take on Leadership

Leaders must explore who they are and how they behave. It is a constant cycle of evaluation and can be tiring but it is a necessary process to be prepared for future challenges for any business.

There are all sorts of leaders, situational, servant, heroic, charismatic (often the most dangerous), visionary etc. and there are certainly a whole host of choices out there in terms of how a team can and should be lead.

Thoughts on Leadership styles and training are as varied and numerous as the books that are out there on the shelves of WH Smiths and Waterstones. Our thoughts and understanding comes from the basic principle that in order to learn, develop and enhance one has to experience and reflect what it feels like to ACT

(A = Awareness, C = Connection, T = Transformation), critically in this circumstance in relation to one another and that is the starting point for our work with Leadership groups. We get them to engage in a process we call Dramatic Synthesis.

Dramatic Synthesis draws on tradesecret’s unique combination of facilitation skills and high-level academic knowledge of dramatic characterisation, allied to practical experience in the commercial sector to create a structured approach for identifying your teams’ rational and emotional strengths and exploring how these can best be combined for success.

Our emphasis is on synthesising those talents to serve the needs of any group we work with and to enhance the leadership potential of each member in the team.

Here are some brief details of teams we have worked with in the past in this way and the environments and contexts we have created for this examination.


To celebrate and make use of the talents of a new leadership group in the marketing team coming together to perform. Principally asking the question, “What makes a Leadership Team successful?”

To create an environment that enabled the group to look at what their leadership strengths currently were and to use that same process to articulate how they would like to be seen in the future.

For this, we immersed them in their own professional kitchen context. The pressure was on to make a meal for invited guests. Using the immersive experience as a canvass to reflect on where the interrelationships work and how the team can be re-engineered where there are communications issues.

We focused on them preparing two types of dish – one involving the fusing of flavours the other moulding and forming – two different processes – ultimately used as metaphors and frameworks for them to reflect on their own personal styles.


Here we used the medium of photography.

The Senior Management Team came together in a hotel in New York. There were differences of opinion and perspective on how to communicate a message around sustainability from an internal to external POV.

Our sessions helped broker compromise and renewed understanding. The photography piece was used as a stimulus and data capturing exercise to evidence where and how separation exists in the minds of different Leadership POV’s

Third Bridge

The ambition was for the senior managers to be able to express what they wanted from their roles.

To share insights on some of the challenges each manager experiences from their team. Checking each is in alignment with the company vision. Looking in detail at how problem solves are identified and then re-engineered in the context of the changing shape of the business.

For this project, we used huge canvasses and an artist in residence to help bring to life some of the images and messages each needed to express ultimately building “Springboard Stories’ the leaders could take back into the business to share with their various teams.

We used Tradesecrets to help the leadership team communicate a significant change programme and take the staff affected on a journey to understand their own reactions to change. This had significant impact to the point that staff still talk of the training and was probably one of the most effective pieces of training I have sourced. This reflects the trainers' innovative approach, ability to communicate and empathise and willingness to challenge.

Andrew HaighClient Propositions - RBS Coutts

We asked tradesecrets to help consult on some of the dynamics and issues with our design team. We were very impressed with the consultancy we received and have subsequently implemented the recommendations in a way suited to our company culture and managerial approach. tradesecrets have an uncanny knack at working in a very direct way with groups at the same time as paying attention to individuals, genuinely helping them through one on one coaching to set and achieve personal development goals

David WallCEO Dusted

Sam and his team have helped me as a leader thanks to their direct, honest, truthful insights of my leadership style. I trust their choice of tools and methods. Sam and his team have been a key pillar of my career and of the various change management jobs I have done.

Stephane DupuitsHead of Regional Innovation EAME Flavours at Givaudan