About me

I’m an experienced manager with 15+ years in management positions.  Ten of these years were in senior positions, including heading national operations and an interim CEO post.  Coupled with this, I’m also a qualified executive coach. 

When it comes to supporting you on projects, my senior experience means that outsourcing work to me will save you time (which is not always the case when you delegate to consultants, or less experienced members of your team).

Whether you need strategic or operational support, I'm here to roll my sleeves up and help.

Here's a case study, demonstrating the many ways I helped one organisation.

Cover - Toynbee Hall Case Study.jpg
What will you get with me?

I understand the complexities, challenges and rewards of leadership and how relationships and people skills are central to success.  I’ve managed predecessors of my roles and colleagues who were previously in equal or more senior posts.  I’ve also led teams of: employees, freelancers, partner organisations and volunteers, to deliver high standard services; on tight budgets, with lean resources, against stretching targets and within periods of change.

This experience enables me to provide project support for other managers.


With me you have someone who:

  • has a solid track record operating at your level, so knows what is needed or will quickly find out

  • will be open and direct with you

  • has a reputation for working effectively with people

  • will keep you appraised of key progress but won’t bog you down in the detail - otherwise it won't be saving you time!

  • understands the politics and complexities of organisations and relationships

  • is experienced in learning and development through 17 years in the industry - producing conferences for commercial markets, running national training services for charities, as well as an Interim CEO post for a charity helping young people who were NEET (Not in Education, Training or Employment)

  • is a member of the ILM, in recognition of her senior management experience and commitment to her own continuing professional development (CPD)

  • loves working with people (even the ones everyone else finds ‘tricky’) and has developed a reputation for people skills, through: coaching, leading teams, and facilitating cross - organisation and partnership working.

My experience has made me very versatile, recent projects include:


  • assisting an organisation in recruiting and training a pool of staff

  • facilitating sessions on leadership programmes for business undergraduates through to established senior leaders

  • developing an online toolkit to help debt advisers support clients with disabilities

  • being Master of Ceremonies for a summit of global leaders in New York

  • observing and coaching team leaders to help them enhance their leadership skills

  • producing three conferences for a partnership of London charities

  • providing event management at conferences

  • conducting research to assess the availability of technical supervision for advice staff.

Why the name Pressurevalve?

I've yet to meet anyone who doesn't have pressure in their work.  An element of pressure is good as it motivates us to take action, however when the pressure ramps up it can affect our ability to function at our normal levels, reducing performance and causing stress inside and outside of our working lives.


In engineering, valves are used to control the pressure and that's exactly what Pressurevalve Ltd can do for you.

With Pressurevalveprojects.com you'll get additional, experienced resource on a temporary basis, to help you deliver your projects.  With Pressurevalvecoaching.com  you'll get the space and external perspective to find your way through challenges, enabling you to achieve your goals. 

So what challenge can I help you with today?

Drop me an email to explain where your pressure point is.  (I promise it won’t result in a pushy hard-sell conversation, that’s just not me).

Email: julie@pressurevalve.co.uk

If I can help you, I'll provide a costed proposal.  If the project would benefit from the expertise of an associate, I'll include details of their experience and skills too

I look forward to hearing from you.

Julie Smith (MInstLM)


Pressurevalve™ Ltd.


P.S.To save you time, I’m not the project worker for you if:


  • you don't believe that: different opinions, relationships, planning and flexibility, are all essential ingredients of successful projects

  • you don’t like people who use humour, creativity and a down-to-earth approach

  • you're looking for a project manager for a large-scale I.T. implementation! (Whilst, I've managed I.T. projects, on time and on budget, it's not where my heart lies, so I won't be the best person for the job.  This said, I can put you in touch with people who would be perfect for these type of projects).

Still want some more background info before we speak?

Here are a few of common questions people ask.  If I’ve missed something that you’d like to know, please do get in touch.  I’m always happy to answer questions.

Do you charge a day or a project rate?

In most cases I charge a project rate.  That way, as long as the scope of the project doesn't change, the fee we agree at the outset is what you'll pay, so you'll have no worries about going over budget.

What experience do you have of the types of challenges I’m facing?

As mentioned earlier,  have over 15 years’ experience in management positions.  Ten of these years were in senior positions including heading national learning and development operations and an interim CEO post. 


This means I’ve come across many of the challenges you and your team are facing.  Here are a few quick examples.  I’ve:


  • produced winning tenders and proposals, securing and negotiating long-term contracts with private, public and non-profit organisations

  • identified and moved into new markets

  • managed over £5 million of grants to charities

  • led teams through change, including redundancies

  • developed successful relationships with partner organisations, managing complex hierarchies and competition between organisations

  • addressed under-performance in a team I inherited and built a conscientious and high performing team

  • managed predecessors of my roles and colleagues who were previously in equal or more senior posts to me 

  • led teams of employees, freelancers, partner organisations and volunteers; delivering high standard services: on tight budgets, with stretching targets and within periods of change.

You mentioned coaching, what topics do you coach on?

That’s really determined by what you need.  This said, here’s a flavour of topics I’ve helped clients with:


  • Prioritisation/making time for what matters

  • Working with ‘tricky’ people

  • Personal impact/raising profile

  • Helping teams work better together

  • Career crossroads

  • Overcoming fears and blockers (public speaking, decision-making etc.)

  • Resilience

  • Managing change

  • Recruiting and building teams

  • Imposter syndrome and self-confidence

  • Transitioning to a new role

  • First steps into people management.


Key success factors in my coaching include helping people develop skills in looking at situations from different people’s perspectives, self-awareness, option analysis, confidence, resilience and self-coaching. 

Through my sister brand Pressurevalve Coaching, I've supported staff at entry, middle and senior level in; global software companies, regional housing associations, train operating companies, national arts organisations and local and international charities.


For more information please visit Pressurevalvecoaching.com

I'm in a revolving door of pressure.  I'd like to be able to delegate more to my team.  Can you help with that?

Yes!  I can support you and/or your team through coaching.  This could be one-to-one or as a group.  


For this particular scenario, I'd recommend I run an Everything DiSC® Team workshop for you and your team.  It will help increase your understanding of yourselves and each other.  This enables you to adapt your behaviours and communication, to work more effectively together.


With your team working more effectively together, you'll be freed up to work on other projects and goals.  To enhance your team's initiative,  you may also find my peer coaching service useful.

Do get in touch if you'd like to learn more.  Please also visit pressurevalvecoaching.com.  This is the sister brand to Pressurevalve Projects and includes more information on the coaching solutions that I provide.