A Personal View
Cara Hotel Marketing
Deputy Managing Director
Paul, what made you choose Henley’s Developing Management Practice programme?
‘I had asked my Managing Director for some leadership learning in order to help me to deal with the growth of our company, and he recommended Deborah Brockwell, having worked with her previously. I met with Debs and it was clear that this programme ticked all the boxes.’
What did you expect from the programme, and how did the reality differ?
‘I knew that the programme had a lot of practical aspects to it, but I didn’t realise quite how much! Whilst there were various models and explanations, there was very little theory – 75% or more of the content was made of practical exercises we could all relate to very easily.
‘I also didn’t expect it to be quite so challenging at a personal level. You have to push your personal boundaries, and jump way outside your comfort zone. I have to admit that I struggled a bit with this at first, but it did definitely produce visible improvements in the way I communicated.
‘The most memorable sessions for me were those about personal branding and change management, and the latter really stood me in good stead whilst I was addressing our company’s internal restructuring.
‘And the Henley location is wonderful, of course. It creates a really relaxed mood, allowing us all to disengage from normal life.’
The most memorable sessions for me were those about personal branding and change management.
So what impact has the programme had?
‘It’s definitely made me more confident in making – and communicating – the bigger decisions. Previously, I realise that I didn’t present myself or the information in a particularly compelling way.
‘I’m now much more attuned to the importance of leadership. I step back, don’t get bogged down, think outside of the box much more. I’m a more strategic person now, but I still keep the workbook next to my desk, and give myself a refresher now and again!
‘And outside of work, my wife has noticed a big change in me! She says that I’m much more confident, and my communications skills have improved! It’s had a very positive impact all round.’
What would you say to anyone considering going on the programme?
‘No matter how good you think you are, continuing to learn is really important, and there are always areas in which you can improve.
‘Sometimes you need to separate yourself from your day-to-day existence to identify those areas, and the setting at Greenlands allows you to do that very easily, and focus on the other stuff. In that respect, I found it to be much more conducive than any urban location I’ve trained in before.
‘The DMP programme will challenge you, in a good way. So be prepared to open up… but not in a scary way!’