Wendy was brought up in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Britain. She is married and lives in Wiltshire, England.
Wendy was head girl of her high school, Chaplin High in Zimbabwe. She was a competitive swimmer, squash and hockey player before taking up long distance running. After running the Comrades Marathon (87kms) in 1987, she pursued the greater pleasure of running in the veld around Johannesburg (South Africa) with her two Irish setters. Initially she studied English Literature and Psychology, then completed an MA (Industrial and Organisational Psychology). In the late 1980s she qualified as an industrial psychologist with the South African Medical and Dental Council.
Her first job was on a research project sponsored by South African companies which aimed to advance at work people who had been disadvantaged by the apartheid system She was then employed in the human resources department of what was, at the time, the biggest explosives factory in the world (African Explosives and Chemicals Industries (AECI), Modderfontein). After three years she bought a one-way ticket to India in order to take her retirement in instalments (a piece of advice which she had been given). In the two years she spent on the road, mainly in Asia and the Middle East, she discovered two abiding passions: mountains and the human qualities which enable different people across the world to live meaningful lives.
Back in South Africa, she was engaged to set up a pioneering accelerated development programme sponsored by the Paris Chamber of Commerce in partnership with South African institutions. Launched in 1986, this programme made a significant contribution to nurturing management talent in South Africa for the next 15 years. She returned to the world of explosives manufacturing, which was beset by productivity, quality and, above all, safety concerns – at the core of which was a failure in leadership. In a senior organisational development role in AECI, she worked with leadership to transform the organisation. The golden thread was the care and growth leadership model.
She has since consulted across a wide range of organisations both locally and internationally on the implementation of the Legitimate Leadership Model.
In 2014, she formed Legitimate Leadership to further support organisations, both in South Africa and internationally, to apply the Legitimate Leadership Model. Over the past two decades she has become an internationally-recognised authority on practically achieving transformation in organisations using the care and growth leadership model. A client said: “Wendy embodies the values of Legitimate Leadership of people in the workplace, her actions are invariably consistent with these values. In her extensive consultancy work with us, she has on all occasions added value to the specific issue at hand, at the same time consolidating the leadership ethos, both as a philosophy and as integral to our day to day leadership practices.”