Stephen Burt is a seasoned Coach and Facilitator, working at senior levels specializing in leadership, personal effectiveness, and transition.  Before becoming a coach, Stephen’s career spanned teaching, research on educational and equality, and in-house consultancy on management and leadership. He then spent 12 years as a senior civil servant providing policy advice to education ministers on diverse topics. This experience grounded his understanding of what it takes to lead others and deliver, particularly in times of uncertainty.

Stephen set up Gibsonstarr Ltd in 2009 to act as focus for his own work as a leadership coach and as a platform for collaboration with others in designing and delivering innovative leadership programmes. His clients span the private, public and not-for-profit sectors and they seek him out to collaborate in creating learning events that are enjoyable, practical and sustainable.

His interest in the skills, mind-set and presence of the impactful listener stem from both his work as a coach and his experience of what makes an effective leader. This culminated in the publication of his first book, ‘The art of listening in coaching and mentoring’ in June 2019. He frequently speaks and runs workshops on listening for coaches, in-company leadership groups and executive MBA students at top business schools.

Stephen also has a keen interest in mastery, particularly as it applies to coaching. He draws lessons from a range of ‘parallel worlds’ of practice and from his own experience of performing jazz and improvised comedy. He has written articles on coaching mastery and led events for the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC), the London Coaching Group, the Academy of Executive Coaching, Civil Service internal coaches and NHS Leadership Academies.

His current research focuses on the impact of great listeners in an organisational setting. This is complemented by continuing exploration of how a clear and deep sense of purpose grounds effective leadership and enables leaders to find their authentic voice.

Stephen is committed to sharing his experience and testing his emerging understanding. He contributes to Coaching at Work magazine, the EMCC International Journal, The Listener and writes an irregular blog on coaching and leadership that can be found on his website, and on

MBA, Imperial College London, 1998
PhD, University College London Institute of Education, 1988
MA, Sociology of Education, Goldsmiths College London
MA, Philosophy, Sussex University
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Leadership, coaching, listening, mastery, personal impact, purpose, authentic voice
Personal Interests
Jazz, improvised comedy, tennis, sustainable travel