Chris is the COO at 4 Earth Intelligence, an earth observation company which derives mapping products from satellite imagery.

The business was founded in 2011 as Proteus, and rebranded in 2020.

It continues to grow and aims to be the biggest company in its field. 4 Earth Intelligence is developing a new strategy to create greater recurring revenue from its products, reducing its reliance on projects and consultancy.

Chris was promoted to the board in 2020 and was seeking to gain tools to help in his new role, including how to create time to be more strategic and to enhance his leadership skills to coach the company’s young and eager team.

Chris’s thoughts

The course was recommended by a former colleague and, after reviewing the agenda, I felt it would be the perfect introduction for me as a newly-appointed director.

It proved very valuable. The tutors really challenged my way of thinking. They were all fantastic and held my attention for a full five days on Zoom calls.

I was particularly pleased that the approach was not simply ‘death by Powerpoint’!

Also, using the breakout rooms to talk through key discussion points enabled me to gain insights from others attending the course who have been in similar situations.

Applying the learning

I learnt how I need to transition from being a manager to a leader, and that it is now important for me to allow others to develop and grow within the company.

I’ve already begun finding more time for myself to think strategically about how I can best support the business.

In addition, I’m trying to stop being the colleague who is relied upon for the solution. Instead, I’m placing the onus on the rest of the team to find solutions, by asking questions to guide them in the right direction.

There are several ways in which my deeper understanding of the role of a director will benefit my role. It will foster accountability and responsibility among mid-management, which will improve staff retention.

It will free up my time to direct the team, and will allow me to focus on being strategic and not to be stuck in the minutiae of detail.


The tutors are all highly-experienced and drew upon their expertise to deliver well-structured and constructive teaching in which dialogue was encouraged. At no time did I feel that we had not covered an agenda item in sufficient detail.

I would highly recommend this course to anyone who has recently become a director, or has aspirations to become one.

I would also recommend that at least one other colleague attends the course, to provide for easier implementation of ideas and the training materials.


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