How to maximise Performance,Potential and Well-being

• A summary of key ideas from Derek Draper’s book, ‘Create Space’

• Why creating space is vital for you and your business 

• Details of our associated Masterclasses, Retreats and Coaching 

Do you want to:

Transform the time you have to think on a deep and strategic level?

Connect with others in a rich and authentic way?

Focus laser-like on what really adds value?

Achieve these goals in way that promotes sustainable well-being for you and your team?

This all becomes possible when you systematically and relentlessly “Create Space” TM. This Financial Times Book of the Month and Amazon #1 Best-seller and its associated Masterclasses and Retreats show you how. 

Create Space is recommended by CEOs, Board Chairs or HRDs who work or have worked at the BBC, Rank, Verisure, (News Corp), Business Development Asia, British Airways and Barclays (see back page for more details). 

“The time we spent with Derek was the best time my team ever spent together. We took our relationships to a whole new level of trust. I could feel the energy grow, and that followed us back to the office, where not only did our performance improve but things were somehow more enjoyable. The work was deep and challenging but because of that was totally transformative. Highly, highly recommended.”


Our 90 minxute and one day Masterclasses, two-to-five day Retreats, and Coaching

Our Masterclasses, Retreats and Coaching are always tailored to the priorities, context and culture of your organisation. A pre-session online “Create Space Audit” allows each individual to explore and reflect on how much “space” they create in their lives – for thinking, connecting, doing and being. Our coaching work is deep, practical and, crucially, measured: ROI and progress are tracked using CDP’s proprietary Delta360 app. Our group masterclasses and retreats are challenging, experiential and make a lasting impact. 

Derek Draper is the founder and chief executive of CDP Leadership Consultants and was previously Managing Consultant and Head of Business Development for the UK and Europe at the global consultancy YSC. He has assessed and developed senior executives in twenty FTSE 100 companies and for some of the largest privately held businesses in the world, working in the UK, the Nordics, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Africa. He also runs a psychotherapy practice and is a Governor of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust. He tweets @derekdraper and you can sign up for his regular email newsletter at

A summary of the book’s key ideas and insights:

Informed by over a decade of hands-on experience working with leaders at the most senior levels of business, this book shows how to push back against the tide and create space in your life to think, relate and act on a deeper level. Learning to focus, manage time, and take control of your mental and physical space is the first step in developing and excelling in anything. This book shows how to do just that, drawing on real-life examples and the best of both classical and cutting-edge psychological and behavioural thinking. Each chapter contains models, tools and tips that have been used effectively in some of the world’s biggest organisations, and which will allow you to set your strategy, raise your productivity and create meaningful change for lasting success. 

The book’s key ideas:

Modern life, particularly work, fills any space indiscriminately 

This means most leaders feel overwhelmed and not masters of their own destiny 

A leader must therefore consciously push back and create space in order to succeed

Such space is vital for:

Deeper self-insight and sense of purpose 

Better strategic and creative thinking

Richer relationships

Delivering what really matters 

Sustainable performance and growth 


You can’t deliver your best – or really grow – as a leader – and create the conditions for well-being – unless you first create space

Each of the 12 areas on the left has a chapter devoted to it. In each chapter there is a case study based on work Derek has done with senior business leaders around the world, followed by an essay covering the topic more generally and a practical tips and tools section so you can start trying out ways to change straightaway

Space to Think  is about having the intellectual and mental freedom to think and reflect in a deep way about yourself and the world. 

Space to Connect refers to developing deeply meaningful, authentic and creative relationships with those around you.

Space to Dorelates to prioritising and then having a productive and meaningful impact on the world. 

Space to Be encourages us to remember that we are human beings, not human doings – to step back and ensure that we are building the kind of life we really want to live 

Of course, all these different types of space interact with each other in complex, infinite ways – where we are, who we are with and what we perceive of the situation. We aren’t just creating space to ‘fit more in;’ we are actively creating our own personal version of space: the place(s) within which we live, and how we live in them.  

Together getting all this right creates the conditions for sustainable well-being


Evidence of the importance and relevance of  “Create Space” to business

1. It fosters the most important leadership capabilities that organisations need

The ‘Create Space’ model maps closely onto the leadership frameworks used by the world’s leading leadership firms and global companies. Derek carried out an analysis of over fifty different leadership frameworks, including those of various FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies, and of organisations such as the British Civil Service and the US Army, which shows this alignment clearly. On the right of this table you will see the key elements from these leadership frameworks (they tend to be, unsurprisingly, pretty similar) and, on the left, how they fit under each element of the ‘Create Space’ model.

Create space to … is linked to these leadership capabilities …

Think Decision making, problem solving, strategic thinking, creativity, innovation

Connect Collaboration, inspiring, motivating, developing, influencing, connecting, self-awareness, selfsatisfaction, EQ, teamwork

Do Executing, mobilising, high performance, managing change, transformation, delivery

Be Well-being, better work-life balance, personal meaning and purpose, sustainability, resilience

This table illustrates how critical creating space is to succeeding as a leader. Most business people want to get better at the capabilities listed in the right-hand column. Indeed, it is estimated that companies spend nearly $50bn a year trying to help their employees get better at these. However, unless you create the space to do the things on the left-hand column you will not free yourself up sufficiently to grow the capabilities on the right-hand side.

2.  It addresses the proven needs of senior and high-potential executives

While I was developing these ideas, I was working with a global leadership consultancy and I wanted to see if their data backed up my thinking. The company had assessed around 50,000 leaders over the last twenty-five years. I analysed 1,000 of these assessments at random and found they contained more than 4,500 development areas. 

Well over 90% of all global executives assessed – and by implication, global executives per se – need to address at least one of the four core areas covered in Create Space. Three-quarters need to create more space to connect. Nearly half need to create more space to think, a third space to do, and roughly 10 per cent need to create more space to be.

3. It provides a foundation for sustainable well-being for you and your team

The latest scientific research shows that the key ideas in ‘Create Space’ are the foundation stones for happiness and well-being: Rich relationships and being part of a healthily, functioning team; having meaningful goals and a sense that you are achieving them; and, feeling in control of your own destiny. You can learn how to work on all of these by reading the book and attending our masterclasses or retreats.


What people are saying about “Create Space”

Gavyn Davies,
Chairman Fulcrum Asset Management and former Chairman of the BBC

“This book sets out in a very well researched, practical way how you can create the physical and mental space to make better decisions, build deeper professional relationships and get the things that really matter done. Whether you work in business, the public sector or the third sector, if you aspire to master the art and science of leadership, this is a great guide.”

Valerie Scoular,
former Group HR Director at Barclays, British Airways and Dentsu Aegis Network

“This is a stimulating, thought provoking and valuable guide for those who are serious about “being the best they can be”. It blends research, considered insights and storytelling to offer a very practical framework to take control and make space for reflection, learning, possibilities and being. It will act as a useful “coach” in all aspects of one’s life and at all stages in one’s career. “

Robert Peston,
ITV Political Editor (former BBC Business Editor)

“Derek Draper will do something for you that no politician can; he will help you take back control”

Ian King, 
Business Editor, Sky News

“I see loads of business books and they can often be one idea stretched out to fill a book and a little bit too “ivory tower”. This book’s different. Each chapter takes a vital skill and digs deep to really understand it, through very life-like and funny stories. There’s then a tonne of practical suggestions that will resonate with anyone who works in business. If you’re serious about your career grab this now and get reading.”

Henry Birch,
Chief Executive of the Rank Group plc

“What I most like about Create Space are the 12 stories at the heart of the book. They bring to life the ideas within it in an engaging and entertaining way. Whether you are at the start of your career, enjoying your first management responsibilities, or sitting in the C-suite, this book has lots to offer. I highly recommend it.”

Austin Lally,
Group CEO Verisure

“Creating Space is coming at the right time. Leaders today are always on, and operating in environments which are rapidly changing. So figuring out how to get the space to think, learn, decide and grow is a very high leverage piece of help.”

Sarah Wood,
Founder and Non-Exec Chair, (part of News Corp)

“No matter how busy you think you are, find the time to read this book. Packed with far-reaching insights and simple steps for wresting back control of your diary and your career, Create Space is a must-read for thoughtful leaders looking to take their performance – and the performance of their teams – to the next level.”

Euan Rellie,
Co-founder and Senior MD, BDA (Business Development Asia)

“I’m moderately successful but permanently playing catch-up. I’m late for everything. I struggle to prioritize, and even to catch my breath. I juggle with only mixed results. I’m glad I stepped back and created enough space to read Derek Draper’s original, clever, practical book. Space to think is the most basic necessity. Draper has shown me, for the first time, where I can find it”.