LT About us


The Leadership Trust Foundation was established in 1975 by David Gilbert-Smith, a former SAS Officer. David brought his ideas and experiences of developing leadership for high performance in very testing conditions, combined them with organisational and behavioural psychology and successfully applied them to civilian contexts.


“We skillfully blend theory with practice to develop authentic, high performance leadership.”

We provide high-impact leadership development for directors, managers and individuals on their leadership journeys. We work across all UK sectors and internationally and are a recognised leader in the field of experiential learning for leadership effectiveness. We support individuals and teams to rise to the complex challenges that face them, as they seek to contribute to positive, deep-rooted and lasting changes within their organisations.


“…so that healthier organisations contribute more to society.”

From the beginning, we have held firmly to the view that skillful and enabled leadership, dispersed throughout an organisation forms the backbone of a high performance culture; improving the customer experience, achieving results faster, as well as fostering a more fulfilling working environment…the so-called triple bottom line.


Firstly, we seek to understand.  We insist on getting a thorough grasp of our client’s context. We need to know where the organisation wants to get to and where it is starting from. Facilitating this understanding frequently helps our clients as much as it helps us.

Then we design a programme of learning, where possible in close partnership with our clients, in order to drive the appropriate leadership development and then apply, monitor and measure its impact.

We work  with our clients  within  three  key  stages of development: mobilisation, maturity and mastery (Please see overleaf) Our highly qualified faculty, with first-hand experience of leadership, are selected from diverse backgrounds to assist learners achieve their development objectives.


We believe leadership is something that can be learned, developed and improved. Our core philosophy is that “one needs to know and control oneself first before one can lead and enable others effectively”. Underpinning everything we do is this simple belief; leadership is simple but not easy. The intellectual journey is quite straightforward; putting it into practice is far more challenging. Every single one of the 47,000-plus learners we’ve worked with over the years has encountered both personal and organisational resistance to the application of their best intentions. Our approach is based upon accompanying our learners around the experiential cycle on multiple occasions – on programmes, courses and in coaching – so that development is individualised and consolidated – with its application supported in the workplace. It works.