Inspiring people to make good decisions at all levels builds better companies...



Good decision-making often needs someone from outside your bubble to see you through...


Coach and Mentor...

If you are not getting enough of what you want, your decisions are not good enough....

Nothing happens anywhere, or to anyone, without one or more decisions being made……Much that should happen does not happen because decisions are not made. Getting decisions wrong and not taking decisions on-time is a costly business, it can blow a hole in your bottom line. As a speaker, facilitator, course leader or coach, David Knowles-Leak (dkl) will help you create a culture of confident decision-making that drives up performance.

4 Killer Keynote Speeches

Entertaining & Engaging

Making points that make a difference to people & organisations.

The negative power of no and deadly dilemmas.
Banish these two decision killing beasts.

Nothing happens anywhere or to anyone without a decision being taken. Maintaining the status quo can be a decision but it must never be an accident.

Cutting out the negative power of no and, getting decisions in early to avoid ending up with dilemmas, drives up productivity. Everyone in the organisation will have had to face up to these two deadly sins at some time in their life. They are demotivating when they happen, they leave behind a legacy of uncertainty (even fear), and they inhibit creativity. So, let’s get everybody thinking and engaging with the whys and wherefores of how to overcome these issues, nail opportunities early on, and confront problems as soon as they occur. You cannot always get your forecasts right, but you can anticipate your reaction to any likely outcomes. Contact me here for more details.

We all do Strategy and make Decisions.
Organise the information and create calm.

Relevant knowledge provides the content to make decisions competently. A calm and rational approach will produce fewer errors than a stress-fueled environment.

Whoever you are and where ever you sit, either personally. in business life or in public service there is no escape from decision-making and strategy. Understanding when you have a problem often prompts a decision, but how much consideration do you give to timing. You don’t always have to immediately implement a decision. Making a strategic choice is something that you do when you are looking forward, it is not the same as a defensive decision. Take a tour of the whys and wherefores of decision-making. A better understanding of decision-making will make a critical difference to the quality of outcomes that you seek.Contact me here for more details.

Decisions are risky, you won’t get them all right.
Set the values and get more of them right.

Leadership gets its foothold when values are set, explained and understood. Leadership is established when people decide and act in line with those values. 

Setting the culture and framework in which decisions are made and actions are taken is the essence of leadership. Effective organisations work their values through from the top to the bottom. They also create processes and systems which ensure professionalism and the continual search for better practice. Most organisations have processes in which decisions are signed off and monitored, but only a few inculcate a practical decision-making process into their systems. Individuals and organisations benefit from having a practical decision-making tool that develops as they do. “The Decision-Making Pyramid” will help to fill this void. Contact me here for more details.

Big bad decisions can kill off companies and careers.
Anticipate them and prevent them.

Getting small decisions right is important, getting the big ones right is essential. Good business and good comedy have timing in common, get that wrong and suffer.  

In sport we practise, in business we prepare. In the first company that I worked for the mantra was, “we can manage anything but surprises”, anticipation and preparedness was a big ingredient of their success. Digging out your truly critical success factors and guarding them is a good start on the road to being prepared for anything. Being aware of the changing circumstances outside as well as inside your organisation matters. Drivers look in the rear mirror as well as at the road ahead. Objectivity matters. Don’t be selective about the relevant facts, changing the facts to fit the answer that you want doesn’t work. Contact me here for more details.

The Latest Decision-Making Blogs

Decisions are being made all the time everywhere around us. They are made by individuals, businesses, organisations and institutions: their effect ranges from trivial to the dramatic, and sometimes, devastating. Getting things right is critical to success in all walks of life. Watch this space to see reflections on decisions which are part of the public consciousness. Reflect on what they might mean to you in your Decision-Making processes. Learning from the mistakes of others can be a lot less painful and a lot less expensive than making the mistakes yourself.

Who is this for?

Whoever you are or whatever sector you are in, nothing happens anywhere without one or more decisions being made. If you want to create a culture of confident decision-making that drives up performance a keynote from David Knowles-Leak (dkl) will kick-start the journey.

In Business, you are as good as the decisions that you make, the way that you manage your physical resources, and the people that you work with. The extent to which leaders empower others to make decisions on their behalf sorts out the wheat from the chaff. Unless you are positioned as a monopoly, your customers will be your judge.


In the Public Sector whether you are a servant of the state, a volunteer on a quango, or a connected 3rd party: you will be defined by the decisions that you make, or by those made on your behalf. Stakeholders will have non-transparent motives and you will be plagued by the slow pace of decision-making. You may be judged by your lead politician, or by the public’s judgement of that politician.


People make it all happen: whether in work or life, the cogs turn on the back of the decisions that you make. Your eternal challenge is to get balance between self-interest and that of your connected others right. Bad decisions, no decisions, and decisions without effective action are your snake pit: the rewards for getting things right are substantial: at best, you will be your own judge.

Something pithy….

Balanced emotions are crucial to intuitive decision-making

Michael EisnerPast CEO of The Walt Disney Company Owner of Portsmouth FC

If decision-making is a science, judgement is an art.

Harvard UniversityAdvanced Leadership Initiative

It is better to be approximately right than precisely wrong.

Warren BuffetThe second most wealthy person in the United States

Inability to make decisions is one of the principal reasons executives fail. Deficiency in decision-making ranks much higher than lack of specific knowledge or technical know-how as an indicator of leadership failure.

John C. MaxwellAmerican author

Good decisions come from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions.

Mark TwainAmerican Novelist and Journalist

Life is the sum of all your choices.

Albert CamusFrench Author

People that I have worked with