Which quality do you most admire in others? Introspection and taking responsibility without judgement when appropriate.
Someone who inspires you? Greatness doesn’t necessarily come from achieving incredible exploits, doing menial daily tasks well, gracefully and resiliently can be just as inspiring. Most of all, it comes from being consistent with one’s values at all times, which requires discipline and courage.
What are you most proud of with regard to the Leadership Trust? The team. They are completely dedicated to our clients and to the success of the organisation. Their resilience and adaptability in the face of change is incredible and their commitment never wains. I am also very proud of the impact the Leadership Trust makes to people’s lives. We see incredible transformations, and we feel very privileged to be part of those journeys.
What do you believe sets the Leadership Trust apart from its competitors? First of all, our special forces heritage, over 40 years of single-minded focus on leadership alone, developing over 70,000 people. The intensity of our approach means the impact we have on individuals teams and the business they operate in is unmatchable.
How do you describe your company’s purpose? Revealing possibilities to energise change. We help people discover what they are capable of and then give them the tools to implement the changes that will improve their performance and impact positively on their business.
What can clients expect from the Leadership Trust development experts? Complete dedication. The associates we work with are passionate about what they do. They will provide a safe environment for the delegates to experiment, and will also provide all the required support. The courses can be quite a raw experience for those who are prepared to go all the way and therefore need to be accompanied in a mindful and caring way.
The current most important focus for the Leadership Trust going forward? Living our brand – being a model for the work we do with clients. This way, we experience first-hand the growing pains change necessarily inflicts. We are also then in a very good place to show that it actually works. It isn’t all just wishful thinking and fancy theory. The Leadership Trust helped us become a high-performance team!
Five years from now, what do you want the company to look like? What we look like now, just bigger and stronger. I am very proud of the company as it is. I am very proud of the team. They deserve to be provided with as much opportunity as possible for them to express their talent and have an impact on as many people as possible. Leadership development has never been needed more than now.
How does the Leadership Trust complement the other offerings of the Chelsea Group? From a pure business perspective, education and people development is a key sector to invest in. Therefore, it was just natural for a successful group such as the Chelsea Group to invest in growing individuals. Even though technology is taking a more and more prominent role in our lives, there will always be people. You can have the best technology in the world, the job won’t get done if you don’t have people’s hearts and minds in the right place. From a more transcendent point of view, being involved in helping people reach their full potential is really exciting. Going beyond what you thought possible underlies a lot of what the Chelsea Group does.
Why is the work that the Leadership Trust does so important? To understand why what the Leadership Trust does is so important, it is key to know what that is. The Leadership Trust, in short, enables individuals to grow their self-awareness, to understand themselves and the impact they have on others in order to best contribute to the world around them, whether it be their families, their employer, their communities… In the current context, it seems absolutely key for everyone to have a very clear understanding of who they are, what their insecurities are and how these create chain reactions. You can imagine what impact having fully mindful and aware people would have at the moment.
What kind of people should take a Leadership Trust course? The short answer is everyone. We have courses for different profiles so we cater to everyone. For our flagship course, I would however particularly encourage people who feel they are ready for it. That means being ready to take a good hard look at oneself. It can be an uncomfortable process but our highly experienced staff are there to support during the tough times. It means being ready to unpack the things you have been trying to ignore or hide for so long – and it feels so good once you come through! Developing leadership skills is a fascinating job because it touches on so many facets of the individual. Sometimes it means digging up deep rooted beliefs which have served their purpose. Time to let go of them to move up a gear!
The most important idea that you would like clients to leave your courses with? A sense that they know themselves better. That they understand the impact they have on others, and that this newly found sense of self will allow them to lead others better, be it upwards, downwards or sideways. What we are working on at the moment is ensuring that we prepare the organisations to welcome back the individuals after their training. The organisations have to be ready for change too.
What have you learnt from your tenure as CEO of the Leadership Trust? I have learnt that what you learn from the Leadership Trust actually does work. I took the flagship course in May 2015 and I have made a point of applying the principles, in particular since I started as CEO. I use the models and simple mementos on a daily basis. It does take courage and effort, but the rewards come quickly and consistently.