How did you find out about the Henley Leadership Programme?
‘During my appraisal there were a number of issues I had concerns about, and my boss was keen for me to develop my leadership capability. Other members of the team had been on programmes at Henley, with really transformational results, so it seemed like a suitable choice.’
What were your expectations, and how did they differ from the reality?
‘I came to Henley with a pretty cynical attitude. I assumed it would all be smoke-and-mirrors stuff, fashionable new theories, and very little of any practical use. I couldn’t have been more wrong! Very quickly, I had a ‘Road to Damascus’ moment and recognised all my negative behaviours. But crucially, I realised that I was being given all the means to address them and unlock my own potential. I can’t begin to say how much I learned about myself, and changed as a result of the programme.’
So what was the stand-out moment?
‘There have been huge changes, and people throughout the organisation have noticed. Only now do I realise that my reputation for being ‘driven’ was actually very intimidating for other people, and they felt that I only ever engaged on my own terms. I was very autocratic, and much of the stress and frustration was internally generated. I could finally see the person I’d become, and I didn’t like it. So I became much more inclusive, and ensured that all my team members were much more engaged. The whole mood changed for the better. ‘And away from work, too, everyone saw a big change in me. My wife and children saw a new, relaxed me. The stress just evaporated.’
So what would you say to anyone who is thinking of going on the Henley Leadership Programme?
‘I’ve just booked two more members of my team onto the next programme, and I’ve developed a distilled version of it for the whole team, so that probably answers the question! ‘If you are prepared to be open-minded, and are willing to learn, this programme will change you forever.’