This week marked the culmination of a seven-month accelerated leadership course with the Future Leaders Group, which was celebrated with a formal dinner at Sandhurst. I have been fortunate to attend the course this year and develop business-critical skills for a future leader, and we have been given tools for continued learning for the next steps in our careers with lessons from Government, Industry, and the Military.
At Sandhurst this week we tested our learning from the past few months with a crisis simulation exercise where we acted as a team to solve a fictional but unfortunately realistic problem that many global corporations operating in developing countries face today. To the delight of the military participants in the group, we were also tested physically in a muddy field at 07:00 in the morning – after our black tie celebration dinner – with exercises that I personally will leave to the military from now on…
Over ten modules we have covered key subjects including: strategic leadership at Board level, strategy implementation, talent acquisition, effective organisational structures, corporate finance, business ethics and ethical decision-making, digital transformation, working with Government and managing print and broadcast media, and also practical training on how to be a better communicator.
At the heart of our training on the accelerated course is a strengths-based approach to leadership development using Gallup’s ‘Clifton Strengths’. Each participant is tested and given a signature report on their key strengths, which then forms the basis for discussions on how to draw on our greatest assets when leading and contributing to a team’s success. I think I speak not only for myself but my course colleagues when I say that understanding our own drivers of behaviour and where we add the most value – and where we don’t – has helped shape how we approach our roles at work and future career choices. From our discussions it seems clear that regardless of industry, work culture, or responsibilities, self-knowledge is at the heart of leadership.