Colin Hatfield


I am the founder and senior partner of Visible Leaders, a specialist leadership consultancy that focuses on how leaders inspire, drive change and improve performance through powerful communication and effective stakeholder engagement. I work with organisations such as GSK, Unilever and Deloitte.

My ‘second career’ began in 2003, as a Founder of Bell Pottinger’s ‘Collective’ where I worked with major brands (BP, Emirates, DP World), countries (Qatar and Dubai) and senior leaders to help manage and enhance reputations. I particularly enjoyed working with leaders on their messages and communication strategies, and in 2006 I joined The Company Agency as a director, uniquely focused on this aspect of communication. This business was relaunched in 2010 as The Leadership Agency, with clients including GSK, Vodafone, Linklaters, Anglian Water and Anglo Irish Bank. In 2013, I left to set up Visible Leaders.

I started my career at Imagination, a creative hothouse of branding and design. In the mid-90s I left with two other colleagues to establish In Real Life, a cutting-edge creative agency we set up in partnership with HHCL&P, the Campaign Agency of the Decade for the 90s. Our business grew quickly, and in 1998 we were bought by Chime plc, the communications group led by Lord Bell. It was after a brief sabbatical that I decided part two of my career should focus on leadership, and particularly how leaders inspire, create a sense of purpose and deliver strategic clarity.

I write and speak regularly on all aspects of leadership communication, and have established Visible Inspiration as a thought-leadership channel for leaders who are keen to stay in tune with inspiring ideas and current thinking.

What we do

Our core belief is that relatable leaders are influential and inspiring leaders who engage and drive improved performance, and so that’s where we tend to start. Visible Leaders exists because I felt organisations had a habit of making interesting leaders come across as bland, corporate and un-relatable, and as a consequence, undermined their ability to influence, engage and inspire.

We work with leadership cohorts, teams and individual leaders to help them communicate and engage more effectively as leaders. We help them to articulate and champion what can be difficult to put into words…purpose, vision, leadership style, culture and values and provide them with the skills they need to bring these often conceptual ideas to life.

As well as building capability, we help leaders apply the skills they learn to real-life situations they face. This might be about engaging with their stakeholders to set out a new vision, to change course, to secure resources, manage transformation, deliver the strategy, integrate organisations or manage performance.

We employ a range of proprietary tools and techniques, which once learned, can be used to address future challenges. We work with many of the world’s most respected companies including Unilever, GSK, Deloitte and Roche. We have established a US office, and have a global network of outstanding consultants and coaches who each come with their own experiences combined with our innovative approach.