FAQs – Executive Search and Development

Executive development


What’s the difference between you and other development programs?

We see four segments in this space.

It’s important to understand the different roles that they play – all of which are valid.

  • The professional coach focuses you as a person, often tapping into a range of psych models, benchmarks and deep self-reflection. They contribute in a significant way without needing a record of achievement in your chosen career path. They are foundational, and good ones stay with you for life. Choose wisely.
  • The coach-mentor is someone you respect professionally and has travelled a path that is relevant to your own. Great mentors have had breakthrough success that involved struggle and risk. They are not people who just got lucky. You are likely to follow aspects of their path, so make sure they are someone you admire greatly and will learn a lot from. 
  • The sponsor is someone with professional standing who is prepared to use their reputation and network to help open doors. In selecting sponsors, go for those with the best reputation and highest quality networks, but expect them to guard this carefully. Expect to put in the long haul to earn their respect. Also expect access to be commensurate with the value of their time. There are no short cuts here. Those that are nearly always backfire.
  • The vocational coach mentor is someone who’s focus is on helping you to be the best you can be in your chosen field. They embody all of the above and are committed to you and your craft. They can and should deep dive on any topic and help you get clarity with the real world complexity in your role. This is where we sit.

How do I get to work with you?

We normally get started in three ways:

project is working together to solve a particular problem and achieve breakthroughs in thinking and performance.

It is deliberately short term focused and solves an immediate need. It is a very good way to get to know each other and a feel for fit and capabilities (from both sides) while also having a clear tangible by-product that’s based on best thinking.

program is enduring and supports leaders over a range of their own projects and work responsibilities and has a longer duration.

Usually a project and program has a specific outcome in mind. Leadership development is the by-product but not the primary reason for hiring us.

A coaching program is the reverse of the above. It is focused on personal development and performance first and specific short-term outcomes second. The work informs the discussion but is the context rather than the primary focus or reason for engagement.

Both are valid ways to engage us – either with project or personal outcomes at the centre. We always aim to deliver both and find it hard to do one without also achieving the other. This is the reason why most people have some sort of career breakthrough shortly after working with us and is one of the things that sets us apart from other advisors.


Is this right for me?

It really depends on your short and long term goals.

The business case for what we do is built on mastery of your craft and is complementary to your company’s personal and professional development program. It is often funded through delivering a project or program. Alternatively, if you have access to a coaching and mentoring budget we can put something in place.

If you want to be one of the top risk and assurance leaders in the country, and are committed to realising the full potential of your craft, then we want to hear from you. Please contact us to let us know where you’re at and want to go.


And if it isn’t?

Maybe the timing’s wrong or the budget isn’t there. This is okay.

There’s a lot of generalised help around from professional bodies. In house professional development programs are often good too as long as you have clear intent. Tap into them.

If you want to keep an eye on what the leading lights are thinking and doing, you can still do that. We put out a quarterly bulletin to keep you fresh, inspired and alert to what’s happening elsewhere.

If you find a situation where you want to have a breakthrough in your risk and assurance thinking that’s a good place to start. When you’re ready let us know.


Executive search


How do I get recommended for senior roles?

Like all sponsors we need to be confident in our recommendations.

That means that we’ve seen you in action, been impressed by you and we think you’re well suited to a role.

This is a high bar and most likely only presents itself if we’ve worked together closely and been impressed by you.


I’m hiring, can you help?

Our network is extensive and we get to see a lot of senior people in action. We can help in the following ways:

  • Get the word out to our extensive network
  • Speak to potential candidates and refer them into your hiring process.

A fee applies commensurate with the effort and the successful placement of the candidate. This is waived for reduced for recent clients.


Do you get many search opportunities?

We work as a key node in the CRO and Chief Auditor network which means our name comes up regularly as someone to talk to.

If we’ve got a search remit then we’ll actively engage.

If not we’ll sometimes refer people who we think are well suited for those roles and if we know it’s a good fit for both sides. Occasionally we’ll advocate for exceptional people.

This is a very select group and requires a recent working relationship.


Is TDA hiring?

We work at the pointy end of the market. This requires a highly experienced and proven team.

Todd leads all assignments personally. From time to time we have an assignment that requires specialist skills or extra capacity. On those occasions, we go to our proven network of freelancers.

This is a very select group with a long track record of working with us as a client or member of a project team.