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About Me


The Rules


Most people follow the rules.

Some people break the rules.

But the truth is most rules don't even exist...

I'm Robbie Swale.

People usually know me through my career: as a director, a trustee, a manager, an administrator, a leader and a coach.

I've run organisations, festivals and events. I've worked in the private sector, the public sector and the charity sector.

I've recruited or selected over 200 staff, volunteers, interns and work placements. And I selected over 100 people as part of my work for an internationally renowned leadership development programme.

What most people don't know about me is that my biggest gifts are a result of my deepest fears, my struggles and my secret desires.


I spent the first 8 years of my life in an anything but traditional upbringing.

I grew up with my mum and younger sister, while my dad worked in a different city during the week, coming home at weekends, sometimes with his other son - my half-brother.

I was home-educated until the age of 9, meaning that I spent most of my time alone - reading, learning and playing incredibly imaginative games with action figures, inside and around the garden of a run down but beautiful old Yorkshire farmhouse.

My early life was one of freedom: playing and learning how I wanted, with very loving but open guidance. I loved and joyed in stories of heroism, of good and evil, right and wrong, from Batman and Spider-Man, to the Old West, to Star Trek, to Robin Hood and King Arthur, and beyond.

One of the biggest challenges I faced was when I started school at 9 years old.

I entered a restrictive school environment, with sets of rules I didn’t understand, and people who didn’t understand me.

I'd entered a world where there were spoken and unspoken rules and customs to which I was an outsider.


Me (centre) in a nightshirt, as Ebeneezer Scrooge

Me (centre) in a nightshirt, as Ebeneezer Scrooge

One of the most significant moments in my young life was when, aged 11, Mr Leeming - the deputy head at my school - offered me the lead part in a school play.

This show of spontaneous faith from outside my family was almost completely foreign to me. It was a sign that Mr Leeming had seen something in me - really seen it.

And this was the catalyst for a passion for acting which would carry me through the next 14 years of my life, and lead to almost all the significant friendships and relationships of my first quarter-century.

For almost the first time in my life, I felt significant.

I saw that I could make a difference. I could have fame and fortune and use that fame and fortune for good, like the heroes of my childhood.

I became popular, I took responsibility for things, I took on leadership roles in school and beyond. At university, I was elected co-president of the student’s union.


My biggest struggle during childhood and adolescence was with loneliness and a sense of isolation from people – particularly girls – and from the kind of deep and true friendships I desired. I had a constant sense that no one really knew me.

Later in life, as a young man, I always felt loss – particularly of romantic relationships – incredibly hard. And this sense of loneliness transferred, at times, into the deepest of my lows.

I can still struggle with direct confrontation, power, aggression, arrogance and masculine sexuality.

And I still fear being caught out, being laughed at, being humiliated.


As a coach, my clients hire me because I have a powerful ability to see things differently.

I have cultivated for years the ability to understand different perspectives.

I see the truth in the world - I'm not afraid of it. And I'm not afraid to do or say the right thing.

I can dance in the moment, I have an ability to feel deeply, and I inspire and invite others to do the same.

My clients are innovative, loving and creative. They yearn to understand themselves and their relationship partner. They have a heightened sense of right and wrong and a desire to change the world.

My clients include entrepreneurs, investors, theatre directors and even other coaches.

If you feel "the rules" are holding you back... If you are ready to break the rules in your field... Or if you just want a partner to challenge the way you think (especially if you already think big!)... then get in touch. We should talk. And your world will transform.


Read my writing on this site, or read my weekly blog on Linkedin, where each piece written in 12 minutes. 

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Visit the website I made, dedicated to the wisdom of my favourite author, David Gemmell, here, and sign up for a weekly wisdom email.

Watch the free video series that I made with my friend, Nicole Brigandi, about Mastering Your Personal Brand.

Watch videos of me on Youtube, coaching and speaking.

Get in touch.