Reflecting back to the spring of 2012, as London was preparing to be thrust into the limelight by staging the Summer Olympics, myself and fellow colleagues across the business were preparing applications to be considered for the first Stafforce Academy Management Development Programme … ‘The Climb’.
Designed to assist in developing our employees from Business Managers into the budding influential leaders of tomorrow, a robust application process was put in place for consideration by a panel that consisted of the board and senior management team. Aptly named ‘The Climb’ to reflect the continuing upwards journey of progression, I was delighted to be selected alongside nine of my fellow colleagues from Stafforce and Nicholas Associates… and so my journey began!
The programme is supported by the in-house Stafforce Academy, and led and facilitated by two of the UK’s very best Business Leadership Consultants. Based around meeting employees’ specific individual objectives whilst complimenting the Stafforce Vision; a range of delivery methods are used in order to bring the ‘The Climb’ to life.
It wasn’t long before it became obvious that this programme wasn’t like any other that I had taken part in within previous roles for other organisations. This was about making the transition from ‘Business Manager’ to ‘Business Leader’ and in order to assist within that journey, we were actively encouraged to take what we had learnt from the classroom into our individual business units between each module. Rather than being based around ‘ideal world scenarios’ as delegates we are encouraged to proactively explore the modules in ‘real life’ situations. ‘The Climb’ is designed to take those ‘real life’ scenarios and openly discuss not just successes but disappointments as well and embed into those taking part that a disappointment or a mistake made is in fact a success in the making.
As well as developing our leadership skills and our vision, our roles within the business are fundamental in bringing those to fruition and it is important that everyone within the organisation understands ‘the vision’ in order to contribute to achieving it. To understand the importance of working ‘on’ the business rather than ‘in’ the business and why a business plan needs to be a working document and not one that is filed until we have achieved what we set out to at the start of the year. The list of what I have taken from ‘The Climb’ goes on and on and so I conclude the following…
Although I completed and graduated from the programme in March of this year, my journey is still very much on-going. ‘The Climb’ has equipped me to continue that journey and continue to climb to the summit. Although I am not the final polished article of the ‘ideal leader’, what I am is a more effective leader than that of this time last year. I understand that as a leader it is my role to adapt to each individual on my team in order to inspire them to achieve and release their potential. It is my role as a leader to ensure that everyone understands how they contribute to the bigger picture of ‘the vision’ and it is my role to be more than ‘just a manager’. After all, anyone can manage… but not everyone can lead.
What is so unique about the Stafforce Management Development Programme is that I am employed by an organisation that invests not just money but time into the development and support of myself and colleagues as we embark on our journeys. There is not a programme in this land that can put you in one end and spit you out at the other as the ideal leader.
By launching the Stafforce Academy, as a business, we are leading the way in setting the standard within the recruitment sector and as such there is no wonder that I feel that I am privileged enough to work alongside and be mentored by some of the most talented, exceptional professionals within the industry.
So does anyone ever truly reach the summit? – Well that’s probably another blog in the making!