James is Personal Best's longest-serving coaching specialist. He has extensive experience working with senior people in a wide range of industries, including investment banking, law and asset management.
He enjoys discovering ways to help people learn Personal Best's productivity methods more efficiently, quickly and elegantly, and when he's not coaching a client, he might well be found researching a wide variety of learning-related topics on the web or attending a specialist training course.
Before becoming a coach with Personal Best, James was a freelance project manager for almost a decade. In fact, James's first experience of the methods we now teach came from applying them to his own project management work over a period of several years. They work! Anyone who wants to know how to marry up the ideas and practices of professional project management with the "personal productivity" angle on managing knowledge-based projects, would probably do well to spend some time talking with James.
The Executive MBA course at Cranfield University ('95-'96) opened his eyes to a whole new level of "people management" skills - one of the strengths of that course, then and now. His present fascination with coaching and learning design can be traced back to those days.
After getting his BA degree in 1981, James went straight into IT ("to earn enough money to keep me in new guitar strings") and became so engrossed in it that he stayed in the industry for sixteen years. For much of that time he specialised in office productivity systems based on PCs and Macs. He has known Microsoft's Office and Mail software "since it was a gleam in Bill Gates' eye", and was involved in early sales and support of both the IBM PC and the Apple Mac in the UK. In all that time, he has spent exactly 3 weeks being paid to write programs.
James is a keen skier, mountaineer (highest summit so far: Mera Peak, Nepal, 6461m) and a wide-ranging reader. He enjoys managing his investments himself. He also spends a lot of time "hanging out" with his fourteen-year-old son.
James says: "I sometimes think that all the things I've done in my career have been pieces in a jigsaw - preparing me for what I'm doing now. It's a great feeling to be able to bring all this stuff together and make such a difference to how people feel about what they're engaged with."
Meet the rest of our team.