Ceannas® is an exclusive leadership development service reserved for the top two tiers in high performing organisations and those identified to be in succession or high potential categories.
To enhance the impact leaders make in organisations by identifying and enabling productive changes to their leadership behaviour.
To consistently do the ‘right’ thing – where ’right’ is ethical, authentic, sincere and understated, which enables us to build long-term trusted relationships with senior leaders.
Small, observable and achieveable changes in leadership behaviour can have an exponential impact upon a leader’s effectiveness. Ceannas allows the leader to focus on changes to their behaviour that will have the greatest value.
Every company is different and what works with one company won’t always transfer to another. The Ceannas leadership design process takes those differences into account and generates a singular approach for each client .
Leadership behaviour must align with the company’s values or it cannot be consistent or effective. Ceannas help to make a company’s leadership culture explicit and enables leaders to align their behaviour with that culture.
Geoff Aitkenhead is a Director with Ceannas and has a long track record of successful leadership in industry. From 2002 to 2016 he was a member of the Group Board and Executive Leadership Team of Scottish Water, playing a significant leadership role in the remarkable transformation of the water industry in Scotland. During the 2002-16 period Geoff oversaw the successful delivery of c£8 billion of capital projects, accounting for a third of all civil engineering in Scotland. Geoff chaired the Boards of two plc companies established as special purpose vehicles for the delivery of capital investment programmes.
These companies involved a variety of utility, engineering and construction companies as shareholders and delivery partners. He is currently Chairman of Scottish Water International and former Chairman of WaterAid (Scotland), an organisation dedicated to the provision of clean water and sanitation in the developing world. Geoff is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, a member of the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management, and a graduate of Newcastle University. He is the father of three daughters and likes nothing more than walking in his beloved Cumbrian hills.
Mary Horsburgh is Business Manager at Ceannas Ltd. Mary has a long career in administration, having worked in both the public and private sector for many years, with a proven background in delivering a high standard of administrative and personal support to senior executives. She has been fortunate to work with individuals with true leadership values and this has greatly influenced her thinking.
Mary embarked upon an Executive MBA later in life, juggling a high pressure working life and personal responsibilities, and this has enabled her to further develop her passion for leadership, motivation and organisational development while at the same time honing her business and management skills to a deeper level.
Sonya Hotson is the Managing Director of Ceannas. Before joining Ceannas she was Head of Strategy and Planning with Standard Life, the FTSE 100 company with an annual revenue of £1.43 billion. Over her twenty year multinational career with leading blue chip companies in financial services and technology sectors, she has exemplified a passion for leading through core values. Sonya is a Chartered Management Accountant and member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Throughout her career she has held a variety of finance and strategy positions with Hewlett Packard, Agilent Technologies and then Standard Life.
Sonya’s senior posts were focused and accountable for the commercial performance of the organisation. She has worked across continents, including a significant period in California’s Silicon Valley with Hewlett-Packard where she was immersed in the ‘HP way, the management culture which has contributed to the success of Apple and Google. Her positivity quickly engages all in the opportunity to make significant personal and organisational impact through strong leadership values. She is Chief Executive of the Scottish Leadership Trust, and member of the Children In Scotland Fund raising panel.
Don Ledingham, is the founder and Chief Executive of Ceannas. He has had a lifelong interest in education and leadership. It led him earlier in his career to become a teacher, university lecturer, headteacher, and executive director of education in two local authorities. As his career progressed his interest in the learning process connected with this natural curiosity about the behaviours that translate into great leadership. He completed an MPhil in leadership and then spent two decades researching the characteristics of successful leaders.
Emerging from his own leadership experience; research into high performing organisations; and personal innovation came the Ceannas methodology, which allowed him to focus on his twin passions of teaching and leadership. He is the author of ’A Small Step to Wise Leadership, (2017) and an honorary professor of leadership at Queen Margaret University Edinburgh. He subscribes to the words of T.S Elliot, who said,“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.”
Mairi O’Keefe MBE is a Director with Ceannas, and has a mission to change people’s lives for the better. As Chief Executive of Leuchie House, the national respite centre, she averted its closure when funding was suddenly withdrawn leaving 450 families without access to specialist respite care. Undaunted, she set up an independent charity, established a board and advisory group, and took on the employment of over 90 staff. Over the course of seven years she and her remarkable team delivered 33,457 nights of respite care for people with a wide range of long-term conditions including MND, MS and stroke.
Through her vision to ensure that people with such conditions are not just a “disease in a wheelchair”, she has inspired people and communities and raised over £6 million to translate the vision into a reality. An innovator at heart she is highly sought after by government and other organisations for advice. Mairi combines a very strong practical perspective with an energy, passion and enthusiasm that, in the words of one chief executive, “lights a fire that cannot be extinguished”. Mairi’s leadership abilities have been recognised by an MBE in 2014 New Year’s honours list.
Melvin is a Director with Ceannas and has more than 30 years successful international experience in management and executive leadership roles within customer focused and highly regulated markets. Melvin has had significant impact in culturally diverse professional environments across the luxury hospitality, management consulting and private healthcare sectors. As the Manager of the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok he worked with a team of 1200 to deliver outstanding service resulting in the hotel being repeatedly recognised as number one in the world.
Having further developed his leadership education at the Wharton Business School and the London Business School he joined BUPA, the not for profit healthcare company. It was here that he translated his experience of the hospitality industry to great effect contributing to the transformation of one of the world’s most successful private hospital providers. As a flagship hospital director and subsequently as a director of new ventures he has a unique perspective on delivering strategic market growth aligned to a values-led approach where “customers come first”.