Director Coaching

“I joined Fenmarc, a circa £45m Prepared Produce business, supplying Major Retailers in the UK with 250 colleagues based in Cambridgeshire as a graduate in 2009 with a sales background. I felt a natural connection with the business value and beliefs and it’s desire to be the leader in its market. After some rewarding years in different areas of the business I was asked by the shareholder to join the Fenmarc Board of Directors.

I had accelerated quickly through my career by using my natural energy to thrive in a fast-paced environment discovering I had a talent for bringing teams together, motivating them and choosing the right management tactics to drive the business forward.

I found the journey to becoming a Director, fun and rewarding, but given that it all happened over a relatively short space of time, the Director step up initially felt like a huge moment! I discovered some of those skills previously mentioned, were not as transient when it came to running a business. After some time being a Director, I felt operating at this level brought to light some gaps in my leadership style and approach which were stopping me performing at my highest level and wanted to seek out some help through coaching.

Fenmarc Produce Ltd has a long history of partnering with Fairstead Development following some 20 years of collaboration on building and delivering bespoke personal, management and leadership development courses. Having attended some of these courses personally, I began to develop a dynamic working relationship with Diane. I found that from my experiences with Diane, that she has found a way to bring the best out of me and her authentic coaching style made me feel focussed, relaxed and motivated – it was because of this that, that I decided to choose Diane over other management coaches that I had met with.

My experience of working with Fairstead is fun and rewarding. The process of ‘onboarding’ with them was efficient and collaborative. As Fairstead had already spent years working with Fenmarc developing and delivering award winning development courses, they had an abundant knowledge of our culture and the way we approach business. More specifically in relation to my personal leadership coaching course, Diane initially met to discuss my needs and then reported back with a tailored proposal, with appropriate stop off points, evenly spaced out for appropriate reflection and even times for review meetings with my leader. Before we co agreed our coaching objects, we also met with my leader, to ensure the business objectives were also met.

What I really enjoy about working with Diane is that we are able to connect on a personal level given her experiences inside and out of her working life, during her own professional career, which allowed us to cover off and go into more than just was originally in the brief. Diane was always on the end of the phone if I got stuck or needed some ‘out of hours’ support on things.

Diane also took the opportunity to invest time in observing me, by sitting in at Fenmarc  Board Meetings and during a 1;1’s with one of my colleagues. These ‘live’ experiences of how I really operated drastically helped to improve the quality of feedback that Diane was able to give. Although daunting initially, it was an enriching experience.

I honestly felt the coaching had improved me so much that I chose to invest in future sessions as I felt we had only scratched the surface of opportunity. If I had to sum up my coaching experience with Fairstead in 3 words I would say it was:

Challenging, Fun and Rewarding”

Matt Walton Company Director Fenmarc Produce Ltd


Please note although I share the same surname as Diane we are not related in any way!