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Coaching Positive Change – Exclusive Interview With David Bottomley

David Bottomley coaches leaders and teams. During his career in senior and executive roles, he built, developed and led teams in many organisations. Now he coaches leaders to lead – and not just manage – and helps to build brilliant teams. He helps people to understand their values and strengths, break through their assumed limitations and embrace what lights them up. The result? Leaders and teams who love what they do, enjoy balanced lives, and are energised to perform to their amazing potential.

David Bottomley, Leader & Team Coach

What do you do?

I coach people. I work as a catalyst for positive change in people – in themselves, and in their relationships with others.

I work with leaders and teams to enable them to reach their true and unique potential. I help people in all walks of life to find peace, fulfillment, and success – however they define that for themselves.

How did you become a coach?

I worked for over 30 years in technology, not a natural breeding ground for coaches. However, I quickly began to enjoy the "how" of building and leading teams rather than the "what" of technology. I also discovered that coaching and empowering people was far more effective and enjoyable than simply telling them what to do. And it was much more me.

In my last full-time role, I had the pleasure of working in Denmark and appreciating Scandinavia's wholesome and grounded culture. I was the regional CIO across 5 countries for a household-name global retailer. And had the joy of leading a brilliant international team.

When things started to go a little sour and uncomfortable around me, I made an almost impulsive decision to leave. The HR director kindly suggested I would make a very good coach.

And so, I trained and practised and learned a whole raft of new approaches, perspectives, and insights. I discovered that coaching can – and does -‒ change people’s lives. In 2020, I established my own company “Moonrise Coaching.”

Why Moonrise?

The name comes from a line in the song "America" by Simon & Garfunkel.​ The singer is on a long trip across the USA in a Greyhound bus. He is watching the world pass by the window: noticing, reflecting, and thinking. He feels his life is just like this journey ‒ he is part way along but unsure of what lies ahead. Where would he want to go if he were steering the bus, and why?

It is getting dark, and it’s hard to see anything. He feels lost. ​And then, through the window, he sees something beautiful, calm, and awesome that lifts his thoughts to higher and happier possibilities.

"And the moon rose over an open field."

Moonrise symbolises hope, freedom, enlightenment, peace, strength, and quiet confidence. My work and my desire is to help my clients discover these for themselves.

Can people really change?

As I mentioned already, I spent most of my career working with technologists – some highly intelligent, smart, and clever people. We often stereotype technologists as “all left brain.” Great logical and analytical people but not so emotionally intelligent.

Any such labelling is of course grossly over-simplistic. So are badges like “introvert,” “shy” or “sensitive” (all descriptions I endured as a child).

And yet, so many of us have old, simplistic labels attached to ourselves – labels which inhibit our thinking and choke our potential. The reality is that we are all infinitely more complex and mouldable and have more potential than we even recognise ourselves.

Through coaching, we can change our thinking, make different choices and learn to liberate our minds. We can choose any behaviour or reaction we like. We don't need to be chained to our past.

So yes, people can change. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.

How does coaching work, and why?

Coaching is a meaningful conversation with someone who is 100% on your side. They will support you, encourage you and challenge you. All of this in a safe and exploratory space, where you can develop and transform your thinking.

My sessions are typically 1-1.5 hours, during which I listen, observe, ask provocative questions and work through exercises. I hold up a mirror to the person’s thoughts and feelings, enabling them to draw a self-portrait of their mind and emotions. This unlocks their thinking and helps them discover their own insights and answers.

I believe 100% in the power of coaching. It liberates us to make different and positive choices. It guides us to plan for the future, born from our strengths, values and desires. Plans which we own – not ones given to us by others ‒ which means we will follow them to fulfilment.

Contact me for a free, no-obligation conversation to discuss how we may be able to help.

Finally, can you say a little bit more about yourself?

If you cut England out as a shape and balanced it on a pin, that is where I live. I was born further north in Lancashire and brought up in a family environment which was, at the same time (trying to avoid labels) dysfunctional, volatile, stimulating and challenging. All of which I have worked through, dealing with the demons, and drawing out the positives. I believe it has made me more perceptive and empathetic.

I studied at Cambridge University. Then came my 30-plus years in technology before establishing Moonrise Coaching. I am also a charity trustee, business consultant, writer, runner, explorer and photographer. We have three children and three little grandchildren.

I’ve had coaching myself of course, which highlighted my core values. I believe in creativity, service, kindness, discovery, playfulness, fulfilment, connection, harmony, forgiveness, authenticity, and personal growth.

We are all travellers through life. It's easy to be fixated on what is in front of us and driven by what is behind us. It is good to take time to look out of the window, look up into the sky and see the moon.

Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!



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