Make a list of the boldest futures
you dare to dream.
I coach curious leaders.
“I work with people who dream so big they know success will require a personal transformation.”
Duncan Skelton, Executive Coach to Curious Leaders
I coach global CXOs who serve important missions and are deeply curious about what is really possible.
For 24 years as a technical leader and engineering manager I built innovative tech in small UK startups, through acquisition, to Silicon Valley giants. I’ve successfully guided individuals in expanding their leadership and helped them create high performance.
Scaling your leadership, expanding your range, is difficult and uncomfortable edge-work.
You need discipline, dedication and motivation to stay the course. Running my 10th and fastest marathon at 50 years old required letting go of perceived limits and underlined the importance of working with a coach who held the possibility for me when I could not.
You are capable of more than you dare imagine — to explore your limits is an act of courage.
There are no guarantees when you rope-up and set out in pursuit of a dream — only uncertainty amid possibility. So you want someone you can trust holding your ropes.
My leadership experience, thirty years of rock climbing around the world and leading climbing expeditions mean I know how to partner people in courageous acts of exploration. I know how to coach you safely through uncertainty, paralysing fear and getting back up after a fall.
In addition to 6 years building successful engineering groups at Google in London and New York I was lead facilitator on Google’s internal flagship leadership development program.
I’ve worked internationally in the US, UK, Sweden, Finland and India. I’ve lived overseas and traveled extensively, and met many brilliant, inspiring people, like you, with massive potential.
Ready to lead?
“Begin before you are ready.”
— curious about executive coaching
3 ways you can work with me…
Tap to read more. Ready to create? Hit the ‘apply’ button to email me and share your adventure.
Trusted Thinking Partner Program
• 6 or 12 months 1:1 coaching
• unlimited coach access
• ongoing feedback & resources
LEAP — Leadership Essence Accelerator Program
• stakeholder-centered coaching
• 6 or 12 month engagements
• guaranteed leadership growth
Connected‐Clarity Coaching Intensive
• 3-month 1:1 coaching
• structured program
• get traction on important work
— executive coaching clients
It’s a privilege to partner with committed humans on their big adventures. What can I help you create?
See my recommendations for executive coaching on LinkedIn
When you want to create something important and there’s a lot at stake I recommend you work with Duncan, who is someone I’ve known for 20+ years.
He is direct, easy to engage with, practical, and drives real accountability.
He hits the sweet-spot of digging into the underlying reasons combined with practical coaching to effect change. It’s a hard balance to get right, and he does.
One benefit I took from working with Duncan?
Authentic leadership, leading with clarity and staying true to who you are as a person when leading your team.
I entered into coaching with Duncan with a very specific goal in mind. While working with Duncan I realized that the goal I was after was actually just a step, that I really had a whole staircase in front of me. Duncan listened to my changing concerns and modified his inquiries to adapt to my dynamic environment while maintaining the underlying feel of what was important to me. So while there is a method of helping to overcome obstacles and achieve goals there are also deeper questions to determine if those goals are really aligned with the person I want to be.
I was able to get a better perspective on what my contributions have been throughout my career and realize how my perspective has evolved. This has changed how I was thinking about the next decade and how I can still continue to make an impact while successfully balancing what’s most important to me.
One thing I loved about coaching with Duncan was the frank discussions that had me consider alternatives and opportunities. I was able to tap into the positive behaviors and mindsets that I bring, and as a result, I was able to think more deeply about what I really want to accomplish both personally and professionally.
I’d absolutely recommend working with Duncan to any leaders.
I have always been impressed by Duncan’s ability to balance empathy and compassion for those he coaches with willingness (and ability) to hold people accountable and challenge them to grow.
It was this combination that made him so effective as a coach in the context of our leadership training.
I highly recommend Duncan as a coach, based on my experience of his skills and his first-hand experience working in one of the largest and most complex technology company cultures.
Duncan and I worked together during a reflective period off the back of the covid-19 pandemic. Over the 18 months of his coaching my role pivoted inside one organisation and then I chose to move to an entirely new organisation, more congruent with my values.
The ideas, tools and frameworks we explored together have been generative and helped me create a more inclusive environment for the team(s) I work with, as well as set firmer boundaries for myself.
Duncan’s open-hearted approach to coaching provided a valuable safe haven in an otherwise busy ‘life’ schedule; an important space centred on me, to help me find focus and grow, and occasionally feel a little uncomfortable.
Undeniably I feel more aliveness and I am better at doing what I do (as a leader) as a result of the experience.
A sincere and curious explorer. This is what comes to my mind when I think about Duncan.
I had the pleasure to work with him in 2022 as his client. We started writing down the coaching objectives and my areas of improvements. He follows a learning path where he gives you NEW knowledge and challenges you by giving you thoughts linked to your goals. Every discussion is a new learning that improves your skills with continuous improvement.
He then follows ups to ensure you are fine and on track. He always kept a positive environment where I felt safe and cared for.
Anyone would be lucky to have him as a Coach.
Duncan is one of those coaches that will make you think a lot. His thought provoking questions lingered for weeks after our conversations ended and still to this day inspire me to take action.
Having recently completed a coaching programme with Duncan I have taken numerous positive outcomes away from our time together.
Duncan has helped me uncover clarity in who I want to be in my career, equipping me with tools to remind me of this every day.
Duncan’s style is inquisitive and he is genuinely interested and supportive, whilst challenging me to navigate against excuses!
Duncan’s leadership coaching really helped me through a difficult spot in my career, he gave me a series of tools and approaches that helped me persevere through a moment in my life that was exceptionally difficult.
What I got from being coached by Duncan was a real clarity on what I truly want from my professional journey and what my guiding principles are.
Duncan was able to start the coaching journey from where I was at right at that moment. Throughout our sessions, I brought a variety of challenges and thoughts, some immediate and pressing and others long term and nebulous. He approached each and every focus point with interest, insight and most importantly optimism that each point was an opportunity for growth and greater self-understanding.
Through our discussions and experiments, I was able to peel back my thoughts and anxieties to understand the real drivers behind them, and build a picture of what really motivated me as a person and a professional. I have discovered my passion for helping people and have created a clear professional development plan that truly motivates me to improve myself and the people important to me.
I strongly recommend Duncan as a coach and hope many more people are able to benefit from his time and passion for helping others grow.
Coaching has had a positive impact on my working life. Duncan doesn’t offer the answers, or any judgement, but instead just helps to guide my own thinking and gives me a space and framework in which I can find my own answers, and then gives me the confidence to work with those answers.
I would recommend Duncan to anyone who is new to their level of management position, to anyone who is struggling to find their place in their job or to anyone – like me – who needs to build their professional confidence.
I was impressed by Duncan’s capabilities – balancing empathy with challenge; deep listening; holding the client accountable; and co-creating ideas for behavioural change. They are vivid in the coaching room.
What’s more influential is the humanity and the genuine care for others he demonstrates. No hesitation to recommend Duncan for coaching that impacts on leadership behaviour.
Duncan walked beside me cheerfully, with insight, courage and curiosity. These qualities shone through in our work and through them I found new perspectives on my own confidence and strategic thinking
Absolutely recommend working with Duncan if you’re looking to prep for a CXO role.
Few people challenge and engage like he does.
It’s a personality trait backed up by genuine experience and I think that’s a great mix.
I was able to navigate a challenging transition by engaging Duncan as a trusted thinking partner. I emerged with more self-belief and newfound confidence in my future.
His curiosity helped me explore my thinking and his provocations helped me see and create new possibilities.
When what you need most is a trusted thinking partner I highly recommend working with him.
Duncan is a guru at active listening & coaching— so if you are willing to be open, real and vulnerable, he is extremely precise in helping you find and hone the areas of development and behavior that will be the most transformative for the better.
I continue to refer back to key exercises, scripts and principles that he shared and trained me on, to help me reframe challenges in more self-empowered and uplifting ways.
I’ve had experience with executive coaches before, and his sense of empathy is unparalleled, but he doesn’t shy away from holding a mirror to you, so you can see a very honest reflection of yourself and what’s potentially limiting you.
His coaching (along with 1 simple homework “act” to commit to each time) took me on an ascending journey to be more creatively courageous and intentional, and I’m most proud of where that “work” took not only me, but also my team & the business that I manage.
Lots of gratitude for Duncan and his talents!
Duncan has the ability to build rapport and a very close connection in a very fast time. His empathy and understanding of people is absolutely superb. His capabilities to listen, understand, build connection and then ask the right questions for you to make impact on your leadership behavior is outstanding. I benefitted a lot from Duncan’s coaching tremendously. I can only highly recommend him for anyone who wants to make a difference in their career.
I met Duncan at Google, where I participated in the EDGE leadership training. After some introspection and guidance from Duncan, I left the training better able to manage myself, my team, and my manager. The positive impact this short time with Duncan had on my career is why I signed up for coaching when Duncan started on his own.
Duncan’s ability to help you uncover the answers to your problems is uncanny. I would spend an hour thinking about a problem, then after a couple of minutes with Duncan, the answer is clear as day. He helps you reflect on your situation to navigate the increasingly complex work environments due to hybrid remote work. With his coaching, I was able to be more effective at work, which enabled me to spend more time with my family.
I highly recommend Duncan to anyone considering a coach.
I highly recommend Duncan for anyone looking to achieve their professional goals. Duncan is brilliant at helping clients develop their skills, overcome obstacles, and make progress towards their desired outcomes.
One of the things I appreciate most about Duncan is his ability to listen actively and ask insightful questions that get to the heart of the matter. He creates a safe and supportive environment where clients feel comfortable sharing their challenges and aspirations. From there, Duncan is able to provide practical guidance, accountability, and encouragement to help clients stay focused.
I would encourage anyone seeking personal or professional growth to consider working with him.
I’ve been working with Duncan for 3 months. In that time he has extracted and encouraged the deepest thoughts that I’ve never before articulated.
He brings trust and empathy, combined with a powerful ability to listen, understand and challenge where necessary.
All of these skills are used to help you grow, to lead, and to focus on your future aspirations.
Duncan coached me as part of a development programme at GE Digital in 2022, as part of a transformation programme that I was involved with and which presented me with several significant challenges. As a coach, Duncan was an excellent listener and able to provide me with insight on where to focus, how to balance challenges and drive the outcomes that really mattered professionally and personally.
By providing space and time to present and prioritise challenges, Duncan’s style was thoughtful and considered. We created an achievable plan which I was able to commit to and with tolls that I continue to use today. We met at regular periodic intervals and I always found Duncan engaged and attentive. He gave me the space to grow during the sessions. I still use the framework we developed in my day to day work.
I would highly recommend Duncan as a coach in professional and personal terms. Our sessions helped to provide balance and add considerable personal value.
Duncan was my leadership coach when I was Head of Product at the UK’s Government Digital Service, and I’d work with him again in a heartbeat – in fact, I recommend him consistently to leaders who are looking to grow and develop.
I particularly appreciated Duncan’s approach around encouraging me to be courageous and take risks, while also maintaining accountability. He uses an analogy around rock-climbing which I think exemplified his coaching technique – you’re the one climbing the mountain, but he’s keeping an eye and holding your ropes.
Duncan coached me over 6 months at Capgemini UK.
I always looked forward to our sessions. Duncan shared incredible insight and has helped me through some challenging times in my career, coaching me to reach the best possible solutions.
He helped me build my confidence in politically difficult times, and to position myself as a leader in my company.
I thoroughly recommend Duncan as a coach, and I cannot wait for our next session.
I worked with Duncan as my coach over 6 months. He helped me discover and use more of my strengths and had me utilise some valuable new perspective.
I strongly recommend every individual seeking high quality professional coaching to connect with Duncan
In coaching with leaders Duncan worked with clarity, calm and an understanding presence. I was impressed with his skillful challenge to leaders who were not showing up – softly and with a smile. As a coach supporting his client’s growth Duncan means business.
Duncan is a great addition to Marshall’s global network of executive coaches and I highly recommend him to those who are looking to partner a coach who means business and are committed to their leadership growth.
Are you all-in on creating something that’s important and you’re looking for someone you trust to hold your ropes?
Drop me an email, share your dream and let’s see if executive coaching can help you create it.