Fergal McDonnell - Winning Leadership

Fergal McDonnell - Executive & Team Coach

I set up Winning Leadership to further my passion in helping managers be great servant leaders.

My philosophy and style has been influenced by visionaries in the human potential field such as Maya Angelou, Pema Chodron and Werner Erhart.  I also worked as a leadership facilitator with the magical Jim McNeish around camp fires in the Scottish Highlands, where I honed my craft in what really works to help individuals and teams grow.  My style is informal, supportive and challenging.  I’m not a ‘PowerPoint King’ and I don’t use flip charts.  I prefer structured reflection conversations framed with a little psychology to encourage people to explore their leadership impact.

As well as running my own independent consulting practice, I am also an Associate Tutor at University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School on their global corporate programmes.

Previously I held senior roles in talent, leadership and learning at Kingfisher (B&Q/Screwfix), Royal Bank of Scotland Group and Ideal Standard International (Private Equity) providing a wide experience of complex corporate environments. The similarity in the interpersonal challenges at a human level became apparent and my passion grew to be useful in helping people unlock their leadership potential and that of their teams.  I’ve been lucky to run team sessions by the beach in Bordeaux and in hotels with stunning views in Dubai.  Other times, I’ve happily used meeting rooms above large warehouses or in manufacturing plants.  Mostly I’m known for my ‘no tables’ informal set-up and sessions which quickly become open and focused on ‘what’s really going on’.  I also hold one to one and group sessions online, which can be very effective, especially as check-ins between face to face sessions.

Winning Leadership is mostly me, sometimes I’m supported by likeminded coaches with similar commitment to the growth of the people they serve.

An Irish citizen, living in the UK for the past 25 years, I was based in Brussels for 10 years, living there for 3.  I now live in the Surrey Hills, which is great for mountain biking by the breathtaking Frensham Ponds nearby (I love them so much they feature throughout this website!).  I’m a proud father to two teenage daughters and an unpaid groom to their horses.


I’m delighted to work with like minded associates from time to time, when the project is bigger than my capacity. If you’re interested in being an associate, please get in touch!