NB’s digital marketing executive Dom Gall recently started the six-month Emerging Leadership development programme with the Scottish training company Peoplematters. Completing the course alongside NB colleague and project manager, Calum Toogood, Dom reflects on what he's learnt so far...
Last month Calum and I travelled to Inverness to start the Emerging Leadership programme with a two-day residential. Our colleagues Alex and Kylie had previously done the course and found it of huge value, so I was excited to get started. Out with the purpose of the trip, it was the first opportunity most of us have had to be in a room full of people for over a year, which was a nice change.
As the course is part-funded by Highlands and Islands enterprise, we have individuals from all over the Highlands and Islands taking part – from Bute to Inverness via Stornoway and Shetland.
During the two days we looked at self-mastery in leadership and focused on helping participants identify their leadership styles, personality type and “strength and stretch” areas.
For me the session on our Myers-Briggs personality profiles was the highlight and certainly the most thought-provoking. I remember using the same test in university and, five years on, the results were the same. Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
It certainly offers a fascinating perspective on how personality types differ – I could see just from discussing it with Calum how the personality types highlighted different working practices and preferences. When part of a small team, considering these could prove to be really valuable.
For the second module there was only a short commute to the home office instead of the 200-mile drive to Inverness. The course is a blend of in-person and online learning, much the same as our working routines in a post-Covid environment.
It was instantly obvious that having the first session in person was of huge benefit. Our small breakout sessions were chats between friends – not strangers – and it helped us get straight into the learning.
This module looked at the human element in the workplace, reflecting on personal priorities and goals.
We carried out a simple exercise regarding our personal values and looking at how they align to the values of our companies. It was an interesting exercise and probably not one that can be completed in one session – I’ve a page full of notes to reflect on later.
Despite that, it was good to chat through NB’s values with Calum and it offers some explanation as to why we both fit into the NB team so well.
Outside of the group modules, the course provides a series of one-to-one coaching sessions for participants to further explore their experiences in the workplace and work through personal examples.
One to one coaching
I had my first session with the course leader Shona last week and can already see the benefits the coaching is going to provide for me. Having spoken through my previous experiences and discussed my Myers-Briggs profile, Shona recommended some books that would add some value to my reading list.
One of those was The Infinite Game from Simon Sinek and, as I am currently reading his other book Start With Why, I was straight onto Amazon and am looking forward to adding the book to my morning routine.
The blurb for this book says “Sinek explores how businesses and individuals can set themselves up for long-term success, building value and enduring growth.”
During our residential we were tasked with describing a famous leader and one of the other groups in the class chose Jose Mourinho. I am a big fan of Jose Mourinho but it’s clear to see – despite his success – that his people skills may be somewhat lacking.
My Myers-Briggs profile showed a similar trait in myself, so this was a great opportunity to reflect on that and identify a development opportunity. After all, as Mourinho’s long list of employers shows, focusing purely on results is not going to drive long term success.
With another five modules still to go, including a second residential in January, I am looking forward to developing my leadership skills and continuing to build friendships within our group.