top of page

 Level-Up Your Leadership 

Let’s partner so I can help you with the biggest personal challenges you face in your role.

I get asked this a lot… 

“How can I engage with you on an ongoing basis?  I have lots of smaller but important questions that I would love to get your quick independent view on”.
So in response I created my 
 Leadership Level-Up  partnership program. 

What is the Leadership Level-Up? 

You get my expert support, helping you navigate the challenges you personally face as your business and role scales.  I bring some fresh eyes and help you figure out what to do.  


Basically, I act as your personal trusted advisor and expert confidant. You can tell me everything you can’t tell your boss, co-founder or board; and don’t want to tell your team or peers.  Think of it like a friendly face who can help you through difficult situations at work. 



How does it work?

We kick things off with lunch or dinner so I can get to know you and understand your situation.  Then we simply arrange a regular weekly 45 minute zoom chat. 


Additionally you can ping me anytime on WhatsApp with questions or for input.  And if there is something urgent we can jump on a quick call.  We manage it month-to-month, and build a relationship for the long-term.  It’s a partnership, so I don’t clockwatch or bill by the minute!


Easy peasy.

Which topics do we cover?

I have found that a bigger picture objective to guide us helps to provide an outline structure and stimulus for our level-up conversations.  We discuss your broader level-up goals upfront and I use a number of leadership playbooks to provide the framework to your program.


But don’t worry we are also flexible and cover week-to-week whatever is top of mind to you.  It might be something stressing you, an opportunity you are considering, or a topic you need help to deep-dive into.  Challenge shared; challenged halved.


Piece of cake.

The Leadership Level-up program is broadly based around one or more areas of role focus - each focus program is designed to give very practical advice to help you perform at the next level.

Chief of Staff
Level-Up Focus

OK so you read my CoS PlayBook, and so you should have the basics of ‘what the role is’, and got my basic core advice on the role.  But if you are a senior CoS (i.e. level 4 or X) and want to level-up further this is THE program for you.  Selected topics include:

  • Implied Power - how to influence senior executives without direct authority

  • Winston Wolfe - how to handle tricky situations that your boss doesn’t want to

  • Out of the Shadows - how to build your personal brand and career path

  • Show Me The Money - how to hold senior execs members accountable to deliver

  • And other ‘Dark Arts’

If you are a junior or mid-level CoS, don’t worry I am working on a partnership program to support you in a more scaled group way.  If that sounds interesting to you drop me a line to find out more and potentially to join the first cohort.


Chief of Staff 
Level-Up Focus 

Given its such a senior and critical role it’s amazing there is not more advice and books on the COO role. That, combined with the fact that every scale-up has a different and rapidly evolving organization challenge, means most first time COOs have little practical guidance to help them succeed. This level-up program helps with:

  • Leadership – Building a strong partnership with the CEO and cohesive organized leadership team

  • Management – Running some of the least scalable parts of the business, e.g. finance, HR, facilities, customer service, sales

  • Capacity – Developing the organization to support the business growth driven by product and marketing

  • Efficiency – Standardizing repeatable and predictable processes to improve quality

  • Impact – Identify improvements and introducing appropriate systems and controls

New role – How to approach the first 100 days


Founder Leadership
Level-Up Focus

At some point, every business needs to make a transition from relying on its founder to employing a CEO. It’s true that some businesses have made the transition from founder to CEO without switching captains: Think Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson or Mark Zuckerberg. But this is the exception, rather than the rule.  This level-up program is designed to help Founders on their journey to become CEOs:

  • Leadership 101 -- Leadership is not a position or a title, it is actions, setting examples and about turning visions into reality. Recap the basic skills and philosophy.

  • Vision, Alignment & Motivation -- The secret of change is to focus all your energy, and that of your team, not on the old but on building the new.  Leadership is about vision.

  • Problem Solving & Decision Making -- Leadership isn’t about living without problems; leadership is about taking decisions and working out how to solve problems. 

  • Leading With Authenticity & Presence -- Nobody should be scared to stand up strongly and present their real selves to the world.  Not you, or your team.  Know yourself better and how your personality type works best with others.


Tech Exec Manager 101 
Level-Up Focus 

Being a manager in a tech company is hard, and nobody prepares you for it.  You move from being a peer to boss, have to let go of the detailed technical work at which you excel and have to start managing others.  You have to learn to direct and facilitate people, rather than be just a nice collaborative team player.  This level-up program helps with the simple, straightforward honest ‘how to manage’ advice based on years of experience.

  • Manager 101 -- All about helping you with the core “obvious” stuff nobody tells you 

  • Running Great Meetings -- Meetings are for decisions, not discussing the question

  • Performance Management -- The formal way in which you give people feedback

  • Delivering Feedback -- Informal feedback is the breakfast of champions

  • Difficult Conversations -- Just because it is hard, it doesn’t mean you can avoid it

  • Coaching Employees -- Modify your dreams, or magnify your skills

  • Managing Up & Across -- Managing your boss and peers is a critical art


CXO Personal Effectiveness 
Level-Up Focus

We live in a fast-paced, stressful world. Technology is speeding everything up and our workload keeps getting bigger. Being effective is hard when you feel burned out, tired and dejected.  This level-up program is based on the tools and techniques that Google teaches its most senior staff to maintain their energy and focus over the longer term.  It’s not just about organizing your day using a priority and productivity system, but also reaching inside and changing your habits and understanding the reason you put so much stress on yourself.

  • Priority plan: how to build an action plan and focus on what matters

  • Productivity system: an approach for keeping you on-track when feeling overwhelmed, including calendar design, task matrix management and inbox control

  • Happy habit hacks: quick tips on how to optimize your days and keep energy levels up, including getting into your flow state and keeping your sanity in a world of too many comms channels


StartUp Board 
Level-Up Focus

Let's face it, as entrepreneurs you have a lot on your plate, from building your product, landing customers, and building a team to managing your finances and raising money. As you develop your business, especially after you raise capital, you should be developing an awesome board of directors to provide you with support and advice, keep you focused on objectives, and, in some cases, save you from yourself.  The Startup Boards level-up program is a practical guide for Founders on one of the most important but overlooked pieces of the leadership startup puzzle.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who is FundingFFw for?
    1. Stage The typical client is raising Series A&B, though some larger Pre-A / Seed rounds find benefit from this. At later stages as well as Series C&D startups, actually many Fundraising Specialists purchase these tools for reuse with their clients. 2. Size Typically the fundraise should be over $1M, and most likely over $3M to get maximum benefit. The median size fundraise is $12M, with the largest being $235M. 3. Sector The tools are designed to work across all sectors. 4. Geography The tools are geo-agnostic, and workshops scheduled to fit your timezone. 5. Operations Typically employ 50-500 staff generating $1M-35M in revenue. Many pre-revenue deep-tech firms find the packages very helpful. 6. Leader Almost always a CEO/Co-Founder attends the workshop (if they don’t there are usually bigger issues), but often the hands-on CFO, COO and/or CoS is closely involved and attends the workshop.
  • What is the price of the Funding FastForward package?
    The price is tailored to your needs, but typically is in the range £4-8k. (no charge on success, or a percentage of fundraise). 100% payment is made in online upfront before workshops or tools are shared, I only invoice retrospectively for people I have worked with before on invoices over $10k. Unfortunately I have once too often been promised payment that never materializes or takes forever to chase once to often to deal with that drama anymore for such small amounts. And no, I do not work for free or equity!
  • Can I just purchase some of the tools standalone?
    No, they are only available as part of a complete Fast-Forward fundraising solution package.
  • What if I require extra support or workshop sessions?
    We will discuss your needs in the introductory session and adjust as necessary as we start to work together, but providing extra support is never really a bit issue.
  • Can you help me with something specific on my fundraise (e.g. pitch review)?
    It depends what it is, whether it is in my skill-set and my availability. The strict minimum project size though is £4k. Usually if I cannot help you it is something one of my partners can provide.
  • I am a VC; can I get this to use with my Portfolio?
    Yes, I partner with a number of VCs to provide this package, training and other related services to their portfolios. Please contact me for more information.
  • Can I see example of the tools, templates and premium playbooks?
    Coming soon. The premium playbooks complete the core Fundraising PlayBook series and so are in that style / length. If you have any questions or concerns please share them when you enquire.
  • Do you create pitch presentations?
    No, my days of powerpoint are long behind me! We absolutely review your pitch and suggest changes as appropriate, but do not go ‘hands-on’ with design work. The Fast-Forward package does provide a complete directory of specialist designers and agencies who can provide that service directly to you.
  • Do you provide specialist pitch delivery training?
    We do cover this in the workshop, but should you wish to get very specific support I do partner with a number of excellent specialist media, presentation and public speaking coaches.
  • Does your VC database cover my country?
    The VC database includes the c10,000 VCs that cover >97% of all investment at Series A and beyond. This includes large family offices and corporate investment arms. Investors cover XX countries and the regional split is North America (XX), UK (XX), EMEA (XX), Asia (XX), LATAM (XX).
  • What is your coverage of Partners like?
    This is always being updated, but the good news is that most Partners stay at a firm for over 5 years. The database also contains junior investors and relevant front/back-office individuals. All partners and related roles have linkedin details and where they use it their twitter. About XX% have their professional email addresses. Access to the Partner database is not unlimited as when I do that I have found people cannot resist temptation and spam lots of folks.
  • Do you have a database of angels, accelerators, incubators or micro-seed investors?
    No. The Fast-Forward packed is focused on institutional investments of >$1M
  • Do you provide warm introductions to VCs?
    No, this is not part of the package solution. I do partner with a number of funding specialists and boutique investment advisory firms who I can introduce you to if you would like those services.
  • Do you review business models and/or build financial models?
    Yes, but not as part of the core Fast-Forward package as it is highly context specific and potentially timely work. I work with a number of FDs and Business Analyst who can support you build your model. Additionally, the Fast-Forward package does provide a directory of free and paid model templates available online.
  • Do you provide legal templates & advice?
    No, this is not part of the package solution. I do partner with a number of great legal firms focused on VC fundraising and can make introductions to my clients.
  • Do you offer ongoing fundraising support?
    Yes, but not often, as after you are set-up it really is more an execution game. Where I do these are structured around a monthly retainer to cover weekly calls to chat through step-by-step process and offer advice on the process and give you the best chance of closing. Often though you are better supported by a great lawyer, or a fundraising specialist if your situation is more unique.
  • How about confidentiality and NDAs?
    Honestly I see so many pitches like VCs I am not really interested in the specific content and trade secrets, and anyway you are going to share it widely with VCs who wont sign an NDA! Trust and confidentiality is the foundation of our partnership so it should not be needed, but if you are being acquired or from a big corporate with lots of policies I am happy to sign NDAs.
  • Where are you located, and can we meet in person?
    I am based in London, but travel a lot and am set-up to work with clients from the US to Australia (though I don’t plan to meet them on the same day!). Zoom is a wonderful thing! I only meet up in person with my larger clients.
  • Do you work with non-Founders or Corporates?
    Yes absolutely. The fundamentals are the same. To get the most impact however the principle decision maker (i.e. person making the pitch) has really to be involved. Often though CFO, COO and CoS might be the hands-on coordinator.
  • Do I need to be actively fundraising?
    No. Indeed it is best to start your fundraising Fast Forward 1-2 months *before* you fundraise
bottom of page