Who we are

The High Impact Core Team

Founder and CEO, High Impact Europe Ltd

Grant Aylward

High Impact Europe Limited    

Founder and the Managing Director of High Impact Europe Limited, executive coach, consultant and moderator with extensive experience as a leadership and impact development coach to Senior Leaders.

High Impact Europe is dedicated to developing the qualities of leaders and impactful leadership communication. This vocation is fulfilled in a variety of ways:

  • Through coaching missions with individual senior leaders or with Leadership Teams.
  • Through High Impact & leadership development seminars.

As a coach I have worked all over the globe (for 17 years), accompanying Senior men and women to explore and realise their full potential as leaders; to develop their impact as they prepare to face critical moments of communication; to explore and reinforce those qualities that others seek to follow.

Feet on the ground, head in the clouds

Prior to creating High Impact in 2005, I enjoyed life in the Corporate world (Mars, Unilever, Kraft), in France and the UK. After 13 years I left that world and went on a journey into the performing arts – a journey which was to change my life. After studying at GSA (the Conservatoire) I became a professional actor for 6 years. It was an amazing time and a quest for personal creativity and purpose.

Transformations and the quest for openness with High Impact

The journey to become an actor was huge, edifying and brutal. I particularly remember the words of my mentor, “Grant, you must strive to keep the insights of your life and to lose the baggage in order to find the truth in yourself”. It was as an invitation to open myself up to explore what else I could also be. This has become the essence of the work we do at High Impact. Opening people so that they may explore themselves freely as leaders and as impactful human beings.

The experiences we began building found inspiration, therefore, in the world of the performing arts and the actor’s journey. It became quickly apparent that these experiences were high impact and transformational. Participants would explore themselves more deeply, discover themselves more powerfully, connect more with themselves as communicators, often take big decisions to change things or to explore new paths and much more. The energy I get from this is my driving force.

Among the main qualities we seek to explore through our work, openness is one that I personally attach great importance to. It is where connections are made and it is where we embrace change, difference, opinions, feedback, criticism, challenge, exploration, appreciation, love and much more. It requires constant effort and has become my purpose in life. 

The extra mile – our greatest responsibility

As coaches, we must be prepared to do the same that we ask of our coachees, to ask the tough questions of ourselves, to dare to go beyond and to give freely and generously of ourselves in service of the work and of others. This is our greatest responsibility.

I married to a wonderful French lady and living in Lyon. My passport says “British”, my heart says “français”. My children inspire me. My colleagues tell me I have a childlike playfulness and a joie de vivre. Our clients tell me I am full on and engaged. My body tells me I have still yet many things to explore… so let’s get on with it.

Co-founder and Partner, High Impact Europe Ltd

Steve Apps

I am an original founder of High Impact Europe, having worked closely with Grant to develop our offering and brand back in 2007. Unexpectedly, I started my career in Market Research doing data analytics and quickly decided that wasn’t really for me. I attended a training course and was inspired enough by the trainer to say to her afterwards, “I want to do what you do.” I’ve never looked back. So began my journey through IT and technical training, to HR & soft skills training and into the world of leadership communication and impact development.

I have worked on all five continents and with people from over 50 different countries which I know helps me in my quest to improve my openness to people from different backgrounds and perspectives.
At my core, I like helping people in all aspects of leadership and communication impact, through coaching and training. For example, I felt proud when I helped Jean-Christophe transform his conference presentation so that he truly demonstrated his desire to connect to his people and acknowledge their cares and concerns. I felt a huge sense of accomplishment when a participant emailed me, unprompted, two years after a programme to express his deep gratitude at the huge impact our philosophy had on his life. I feel privileged each year when I visit an orphanage and apply High Impact experiences to support groups of children and adults from the UK and Romania. My proudest moment happened when, 6 years after purchasing an oboe for a 12 year-old girl from a favela in Sao Paulo, she was accepted on full scholarship into London’s top music academy. For me, it really doesn’t get better than that.

I have a business degree and my post-graduate studies have led to me becoming a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. I am on the Board (previously Chair) of the Association for Business Psychology which keeps me connected to the evidence-based side of people development. I also hold testing qualifications and a Diploma in Performance Coaching. This means I am able to use tools such as OPQ, Wave, Hogan, JTI, Lumina Spark and 16PF in my work. I’m also quite inspiration driven, which recently lead me to complete a Blockchain Strategy Programme with Oxford University.

I am dedicated to curiosity and openness. I am a huge fan of non-fiction books such as ‘Sapiens’, ‘Why we Sleep’ and ‘The Future of Humanity’ because these books shape my life deeply in my quest to achieve balance. When I’m not deeply engrossed in a book, you can find me on a mountain bike in the wilderness or on a yoga mat doing the 5 Tibetans, a simple series of exercises to start the day.

My mischievous nature sometimes gets me into trouble. I guess you’ll have to work with me if you’d like to know more about that…

Project Manager, High Impact France

Marion Dauchez

Here is a glimpse of who I am.

For 7 years now, I have been personal assistant to the CEO and a Project Manager at High Impact. I feel that I have found my ‘home’, that I am really in the right place, at the right company, working in a multi-cultural environment, with great people I admire and enjoy working with every day. I am proud to support my colleagues to help Leaders embark on their journey with High Impact and inspire others by daring, being true to themselves and open to others.

I am 45 years old and I worked for 15 years in marketing, commercial and project management roles within the events sector before joining High Impact. During this time, I spent 8 years organising and promoting large International trade congresses within the e-commerce sector.

I am deeply intuitive and enjoy new situations, new cultures (I spend part of my childhood abroad and my school friends came from Egypt, Senegal, Canada, Iran… ) and being close to action.

Calm and composed, I know how to downplay delicate and unforeseen situations in a straightforward way. I remember this strategic seminar near Paris gathering top leaders coming from all over the world: the venue was not adapted after all-I had to use all my diplomatic and influencing skills to move the entire group to another place in a way it did not affect the workshop and our relation with the client. That was a real “in the moment” challenge.

I believe deeply that everybody’s voice should be heard. I am confident in any one-to-one relationship no matter the hierarchy and I am strongly committed to harmony and honesty.
On top of my work, I am a mother of 3 delightful daughters. I can be trusted to embrace various tasks and commitments at the same time – I sometimes see myself as an octopus.

I am French (originally from Britany) and I studied languages (English and Spanish) before attending business school. I am Bilingual in English after having spent 6 years living in the UK.

Head of Development, High Impact

Consultant & Coach in Personal Impact Development


Career Path

7 years in the World 1st Commercial Real Estate & Retail company (Unibail-Rodamco Westfied) leading different executive & leadership positions, from operations to finance & commercial departments with management of teams of 15 people. I held 3 different positions with complementary skills required and worked on a regular basis with colleagues from C-levels to peers and team members. I had the opportunity to facilitate CEO meetings to grow the business of this company. 

7 years as a freelance founder of a photo studio &  activity.

Master in Executive Coaching and Team Development from Université Paris-Dauphine

Why I coach people & teams ?

Because it gives me a strong & genuine meaning in my life. I feel useful.  I have a strong belief in people potential, qualities & abilities inside them. Helping people to unlock & develop their full potential at work  is a strong motivation.

My 4 core values as a coach & as a human being :

Curiosity : eager to learn from people and from my environment

Equality : The human value of people is the same for me, regardless of ethnicity, social position, religion or culture as long as tolerance and respect are present. 

Honesty : Honesty fosters an environment of trust if there is sincerity for yourself and for others. The security and credibility that honesty generates helps build a society that values the truth. It results in alignment between one’s actions and one’s thoughts. Honesty leads to Trust. And Trust is always a necessary condition, sometimes a necessary & sufficient condition to generate Collective Intelligence

Loyalty : It is the fidelity I have in individual actions and behaviors. I cherish and preserve friendships & family members relationships for the values they transmit.

Coach & Consultant

Elvire Blasset

« The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dream »

I love this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt as it pushes me to dream big.
Dreaming of journeys, discoveries, energizing experiences, moments of sharing.
As the daughter of expatriates, I was lucky to leave for adventure at a very young age, and I got used to expanding my comfort zone. The stress before the big leap became the sign of an exciting new chapter

After a double Master’s degree in Management (EDHEC) / Finance (EADA), I worked for over 15 years in operational marketing / sales management in an International Retail environment. I enjoyed working in multicultural teams, leading audacious projects and ensuring my teams’s personal growth. My career path is marked by 6 different new positions, including a return from abroad, a period of job hunting and 2 returns from maternity leave.
I work with passion and commitment. I learn to adapt to constraints, to question myself. I have moments of happiness and moments of doubt. I identify my strengths, my tendencies under stress and how best to work with my thoughts/emotions. I adapt to the teams around me and am curious to understand their perspectives. I train in coaching* to enhance my managerial skills. I seek to gain in impact to have real added value.

Today, with this same desire for impact, I train and coach with heart, humor and spontaneity. Fascinated by neuroscience, I enthusiastically share my understanding of the brain to give even greater meaning to the work we do. I take great pleasure in accompanying our clients towards the transformation they desire.

* Certifications: CPCC (Institut Co-Active), ACC (International Coaching Federation), CNTP (Institut BeAbove)

Coach & Consultant

Sandra Buthod-Garçon

Coming from Savoy, the value of work and self-responsibility were in the  center of my upbringing. I built myself thanks to music and encounters, in contact with nature and the great outdoors, whose values ​​I gradually integrated: courage, humility, integrity, confidence and awareness to act. The practice of sliding sports and contemporary dance taught me to use Embodiment and Intuition to surf with the elements (rather than to go against them).

Graduated from the university, I have more than 25 years of experience in the Financial sector, with a career DNA organised around organization and transformation in various fields (Operations, Business Development and Customer Service , Products and Solutions).

Before becoming  a consultant – coach – facilitator, I had main responsibilities in leading Business Unit (onboarding department composed of more than 550 people in 25 countries, head of Corporate Key Accounts, etc.) and  strategic projects of transformation (improvement of the Customer culture, optimization of processes, scale up of activity, etc.). These “field” experiences were enriched by the Coach & Team training of the Transformance Pro school in Paris.

At ease in complex and multi-cultural environments, I have the ability to interact with all the different levels of the organization (Comex/Codir and Middle Management) and to connect short-term operational issues and the long-term strategic vision to move the lines. I like to grow up individuals and teams by relying on the levers of training and facilitation.

Inspired by the Rogerian alliance, I believe in the ability of individuals and teams to make organizations more lively, human and responsible for their ecosystem while creating a more sustainable, inclusive and growing future.

My singularity: a passion for People and Business pragmatism.

It is in this context that I position myself as a “sparring partner” for leaders and their teams. I help them to design and embody transformations and to deploy the change.

I live in Paris and I appreciate the diversity of backgrounds and thoughts, the positive attitude and the freedom.

My mantra: “Movement is life” – Leonardo da Vinci

Consultant and Coach


I live my life inspired by Gandhi’s words: “Live your life as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” I want to live my life fully, in line with my values, with joy and give my best to my passions and to those around me. I take great pleasure in feeding my curiosity. That said, it is not easy to honour this maxim every day.

I lived 38 years trying in vain to ignore my unpleasant emotions. I was fortunate to have a fast-track career. After graduating from the French business school ESSEC, I led and grew a startup to 100 people in 8 offices around the world. I then became Vice-President in a multinational market research company, in charge of a product line employing more than 700 people. After a few years though, I realised that I no longer enjoyed what I was doing.

I have always been passionate about humans. First to understand myself, my strengths, my values, my sources of joy and my limiting beliefs. As a manager, I loved most bringing the team members together, having them feel like they contributed to something greater than themselves, seeing them grow and succeeding as a team. It was quite natural for me to become a coach and facilitator.

It was during a silent Vipassana meditation retreat that I rediscovered my emotions, their power and their connection with my body. My coaching school, Co-Active Training Institute, taught me how to convert the power of these emotions. By using body and space, I help my clients to use their intuition, find answers and grow.

Seeing my clients discover their power and use it gives me joy. I love to see them take risks, adopt an attitude of curiosity. I also like to help them achieve goals aligned with their deep motivations.

I come from Paris and London is my home. I appreciate the diversity of backgrounds and thoughts, the positive attitude and freedom. I have lived in Singapore and Germany and worked with clients on 5 continents.

Outside of coaching you will most likely find me with my wife and 3 children or running in nature. I also love a good meal filled with laughter and passion, surrounded by loving, caring or inspiring people.

Mentor and Coach


25 years career in FMCG from marketing & sales to broad leadership roles

From managing a country to leading a region (800 people +) including factories.
I had the chance to enjoy fantastic jobs in my early career in France (Kraft, Bonduelle, Mc Cain and Mars) and then internationally (based in Italy, Czech Republic, and the UK). During my career I get 18 different positions and more than 20 bosses. I worked in true multi-cultural environment and experienced the richness of leveraging true diversity in leadership. I enjoyed growing business and setting them up for durable success.

In the last 2 years, leveraging my robust business and leadership experience, I launched my coaching & mentoring own business and focused my work in supporting senior leaders and teams to harness their full potential. I get an executive certificate from the Dauphine PSL University in Paris and MBTI certification.

I am known for my capacity to challenge the status quo with care to support leaders on their path to harness their full potential. I will encourage the deepening of relationship in between people and the leverage of diversity in teams, fostering trust to build strong foundations and enable successful and sustainable business acceleration.

« If you can dream it, you can do it »
Walt Disney (Visionary, entrepreneur, inventor & storyteller)

My deepest values come from my personal history and the one of my family. I. I have been taught the need to be responsible of yourself and fight to climb the social ladder. I also learnt the importance of knowledge and the responsibility which comes with any powerful position.  

My big 4 “Mantras” can be described as follow:

Courage: take responsibility on things, face and tell the truth with care
Diversity: embrace the power of it , leverage collective intelligence
Raising the bar: be a little better every day , never complacent
Learnings: learn from failures, be positively curious

Senior Consultant

Sartaj Garewal

As I write this, I’m marvelling at how uninhibited and free my young children are – twin girls aged 1. Watching them roll around, make physical shapes and explore their surroundings with the utmost curiosity. it strikes me that we adults clearly lose something valuable through the process of growing up, becoming educated and conforming to society’s dictates.

So, it can feel exciting, dangerous even, to step back into an adventurous place and do something we would not ordinarily do. To surprise ourselves and maybe re-discover an innate wildness that lies dormant beneath layers of trying to fit in, could be the most liberating of awakenings.

I guess it was an element of this wildness that led me to ditch a career in fund management with Baring Asset Management to become a professional actor and voice artist. An unpredictable journey ensued with theatre credits at the highest level, many TV & Film roles and narrating over 50 audiobooks.

I also practiced a traditional form of Kung Fu for many years alongside yoga & meditation and worked one to one with stroke recovery patients in London hospitals to improve communication abilities.

Utilising this rich mix of varied disciplines and with a belief that the arts and business have much to learn from each other, I worked on global leadership, coaching and training programmes, introducing experiential interventions where learning truly sticks. To date, I have worked with over 100 prominent organisations over 15 years, from graduate level to C-suite, to challenge and enhance the communication and leadership abilities of senior leaders and emerging talent alike.

I hold a BA(Hons) Accounting & Finance from Bristol Business School, UWE, am a qualified coach and commercial mediator CIArb, am a Fellow of Royal Society of Arts FRSA and regularly contribute thought leadership articles for publications such as Training Journal. As an invited speaker I recently delivered “Optimising Ourselves for Expansive Leadership” at the CFA’s major conference Disruption ‘19 at London Excel.

A theatre director I once worked with would not describe any actor as more talented than another actor. He would simply describe them as being “less blocked.” Becoming less blocked or unlearning is as vital a process as acquiring new skills. Not to be childish but childlike with a spirit of discovery.

In that spirit I dare you to do something you would not ordinarily do. The wilder the better. And I mean now. Right now…! Go on, off you go…!

Project Manager, High Impact Europe Ltd.


Coming soon…

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