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Jack Upton

The Leadership Programme

Jack, how did you find out about the Henley Leadership Programme?

‘A colleague and I were selected to attend the Leadership Programme at Henley back in 2010. This was the first time that McDonald’s had worked with Henley, but since then, people from McDonald’s have attended every year.

‘I didn’t really know what to expect, but my stand-out memories of the programme itself were the array of activities we got involved with, ranging from theory to practice to sports psychology to team-building games - we all had a great week!

‘The confidence it instilled in me has stood me in really good stead ever since, and I’ve applied the lessons I learned relentlessly.

‘I think I expected to hear about strategies and the more theoretical side of leadership, but it was the people elements that had the most profound impact on me.’

So what were those lessons?

‘The Leadership Programme gives you a fantastic sense of self-belief, and a deeper understanding of what it means to be a leader. It completely opened my eyes to the critical role of coaching in leadership, and the need to help those around you to grow and flourish.’

And what has this meant for the organisation?

‘Of the ten or so managers who have been through the programme, two have already progressed to Board level and all attendees have stepped up at least one level. The company has benefitted through the growth and development of our high-potential people, and we’ve seen a positive impact on business performance as a result of that.'

What would be your advice to anyone considering the Henley Leadership Programme?

'The programme itself opened my eyes, challenging my own perceptions – and conventional wisdom – about what leadership really is.

‘As much as we gained from the programme itself, the relationships we built were invaluable, and this is especially true of the bond we established with the Programme Director, Suzanne Pollack, who has been an very valuable source of support ever since.

‘The Henley Leadership Programme is an enriching mix of activities, knowledge, theory and application; it really cuts through, and changes you in ways you wouldn’t have expected – or believed possible.’

Find out more about The Leadership Programme