Nigel Cumberland

Educated at Cambridge University (BA Hons & MA Hons), Nigel is a Founding Fellow of the Institute of Coaching Professional Association (ICPA), a Harvard Medical School affiliate. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management (FInstLM) and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (FCMA). He is a member of the International Association of Coaching (IAC) and is certified in various assessment instruments. He writes and talks on various aspects of global recruitment, talent management and leadership development.

For over 20 years, Nigel has worked all over the world with most of the time spent in the Gulf and Asia Pacific. As a Co-Founder of the Silk Road Partnership (, he brings an 'East-West' business experience and perspective to the talent and leadership development & performance fields through providing talent management and leadership training, coaching and consulting services for a range of multinational clients. He has helped clients all over Asia and EMEA. Today he sits on the boards of various companies and not-for-profit organisations in locations as far afield as Dubai, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Previously Nigel founded and ran an award-winning Greater China executive search firm called St. George's. This business was sold to Hays plc in 2006. Prior to this he had been a regional Finance Director with Coats plc (then a UK FTSE100 company). He has also held senior positions in various other multinational companies including Dalgety plc, Macquarie Bank and Adecco SA.


Q: What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
A: We are only alive for a short time and our life may end at any moment. Do not accept a life and work that does not truly reflect who you are inside. Take risks and let yourself take new and unexplored roads and ignore those who would suggest otherwise

Q: What is the most underrated skill in business?
A: Being self-aware. Without truly understanding your own motivations, leadership and working habits, styles and beliefs, it is almost impossible to be able to truly be a successful people manager and business leader

Q: What is your top tip for success?
A: Have the courage to speak up when you sense that your colleagues may be making the wrong decisions and taking your organization in the wrong direction. To not speak up is a form of dishonesty. Evidence is increasingly showing that many of the organisations that have faced bankruptcy since the 2008 financial crisis had cultures of deceit and self-delusion where people did not honestly speak up and question what their colleagues were doing

Books by Nigel Cumberland in this series

Successful Recruitment in a Week: Teach Yourself