leaders-nurturing-each-others-wisdom

 

On this page we include feedback from 29 of the participants who joined a Leadership Conversation between October 2016 and November 2017. From the top down, feedback is from our latest Conversation and all of our Conversations so far are referenced in the comments received.

Beneath this feedback we include comments from participants in two events that Pete Ashby led shortly before the launch of the Society of Leadership Fellows, to test out the format that we are now developing further jointly with our Fellows.

 

Jane Townson (Chief Executive, Somerset Care)

(October 2017) "Wow - what an insightful few days. Thank you so much for all your challenge, feedback and input which helped me to clarify my thinking. It was a real privilege to be in the company of such kind and talented people, witnessing breakthroughs and transformations occurring before our eyes."

Jenny Edwards (Chief Executive, Mental Health Foundation)

(October 2017) "Thank you for all the sharing, learning, heartful challenge and encouragement. We will all keep each other in touch with progress and any setbacks.  It is said "Together we are a genius” - now I believe that more strongly."

Maddie McGowan (Director of External Relations, Ravensbourne University College)

(October 2017) "Well, I have just bear-hugged my boss for sending me along! I can’t thank you all enough for your acceptance, support, energy, friendship and real wisdom. I’m completely hooked on this and think you might just be helping me to change my life."

Jean Gray (Operations Director, Berwickshire Housing Association)

(October 2017) "What a wonderful experience ... the warmth, honesty, knowledge and soul searching was fantastic and to see the “meerkat” moments we all had when we sat up at our revelations were just mind-blowing. The engagement and connection we had will stay with me as well as the fun and laughter."

Keith Howells (Chief Design Engineer, Rolls-Royce)

"I found the day extremely productive, giving me the chance to ask myself some particularly challenging & soul-searching questions. I really appreciated your ability to challenge us without it ever feeling intrusive. The additional challenges & insights that I received from the group gave me the resolve to change elements of my approach to leading & coaching."

Graham Watson (Director of Corporate Services, Brook)

"I wanted to thank you for a fantastic day yesterday, it was a privilege to be in the room and to be part of the event. The thought of conversation format was rather daunting before the event, but it worked incredibly well and I got so much out of it. I left energised and excited about putting plans into action.”

Kate Marshall (Operations Director, Aviation Skills Partnership)

"Thank you for an incredibly insightful couple of days. I was not quite sure what to expect when I arrived and I thoroughly enjoyed it. What a wonderful group of people! They helped me realise we are not alone in our leadership roles, even though it sometimes feels that way. "

Diane Dibley (Director of Services, British Quality Foundation)

"This was my first opportunity to join a Conversation at St George's but I sincerely hope it will not be my last!  Both my fellow participants and facilitators made me feel welcome and comfortable to explore my personal issues as well as providing feedback and gaining learning from others. I have already started to implement some of the thinking."

Tara Golshan (Executive Director of Education, Jane Goodall Institute)

"The Conversation was instructive, perceptive and engaging.  It served to open up my mind to new horizons and possibilities that I had not considered before.  Extremely effective - and a very special thanks to Pete, Sharon and Krysh who were inspirational and motivating."

Ben Wilson (Chief Executive of specialist recruitment firm Grovelands)

"The opportunity to attend these events is a real privilege. The facilitation provided by Pete, Sharon and Krysia was excellent as issues were raised and discussed in a challenging but safe environment. I came away feeling energised and with a new sense of purpose."

Jonathan Heawood (Chief Executive, IMPRESS)

‘I came away from St George’s House full of energy. Thanks to the outstanding facilitation of Pete, Krysia and Sharon, the group went almost immediately into high performance mode on Sunday evening. By Tuesday morning, I had a clear plan for the next few months and a very exciting vision for the coming years. Thank you all.’

Tracey Guiry (Director, The Poetry Archive)

"I have never attended a management course before and your approach was perfect for me, raising issues safely which I'm continuing to process, and will do for a long time, particularly those I probably didn't share at the time.  And it has already improved my leadership behaviours! Thank you from me, and my staff!"

Jens Hildebrand (Headmaster, Stiftisches Gymnasium Düren)

"Thank you all for two intense days of open dialogue, cooperative learning and inner growth in the best spirit of St George’s. What an experience to work with such gifted, accomplished and kind-hearted individuals! Krysia, the way you used your incredible energy and positivity to spark our flames and keep the fire going was truly inspiring!"

Esther Forum (Director and Founder, The Social Change Agency)

"Thank you for providing a very warm, safe and reflective space to deepen my practice as a facilitator. The facilitation itself was excellent and because of Krysia's fabulous facilitation skills, I learnt as much observing as I did practising."

Hein Scheffer (Director of Workforce, Herts Valleys, Luton, Beds, East & North Herts Clinical Commissioning Groups)

"This has been one of the most self-rewarding sessions I’ve ever attended, as I think it was possible to learn from you as facilitator and each of the delegates on the programme. I used our ground rule discussion at a Board session yesterday.”

Anita Higham (Chair, North Oxfordshire Patient and Public Engagement Forum of the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group)

"A very warm thanks to Krysia for all her driving, well-focussed and creative energy. Warmest thanks to all my fellow ‘Facilitator Learners’ who all contributed generously and in so many different ways to giving me clearer insight and perceptive understanding."  

Sharon Amesu (Former criminal barrister, now Director of Life in Colour)

"The 'Leaders as Facilitators' workshop was exceptional. With great, skill, sensitivity and deftness, Krysia modelled just how effective a facilitator can be in drawing out the collective wisdom held by a group. We had a strong and enabling group dynamic - thank you all."      

Tony Cooke (CEO, World Wildlife Fund One Planet Education Network for Business)

“Thank you so much for such an excellent event - thought provoking, reflective and fun. You facilitated it expertly. We all came away feeling more confident about how to improve our own personal styles of facilitation and with clear concrete actions to back that up.”            

Jeremy Dahdi (Commercial Finance Director, City & Guilds)

"The event was truly magical.  There is something special about the coming together of a variety of people in St George's, with a challenging subject and an equally challenging facilitator! The 24 hour set up worked really well, too, as the intensity and strength of discussion built up right to the end.”

Linda Drew (Director and Chief Executive, Ravensbourne)

I immediately wanted to write about how utterly brilliant this event was. I had mixed expectations and the reality exceeded all of them. I recommended it to the first person I met with after the event, and I don't make recommendations lightly.

Nick Thomas (Deputy CEO, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust)

"I thought it was a fantastic 24 hours – energising, challenging and safe, with a bit of culture thrown in for good measure. Would highly recommend for any senior leader looking to explore their own views and preconceptions about leadership and life in general.”

Mark Chater (Director, Culham St Gabriel’s Trust)

"Thank you for a most amazing and empowering 24 hours. It was a cornucopia of great ideas, good narratives, profound insights, mutual support and challenge. Trust, ambition for excellence, co-creation of themes, and toughness combined with generosity were hallmarks of the whole Conversation.”

Cheri Fletcher (Group Director, Activate Learning Group)

"A unique opportunity for us as leaders to come together and learn from one another in a supportive but challenging way. I would highly recommend this special experience, with its combination of an inspiring setting, leaders from a range of contexts and excellent facilitation."

Jeff Chinnock (Head of Communications & Engagement, Royal Devon & Exeter NHS FT)

"Thanks very much for so brilliantly facilitating what was an informative, challenging and intense set of discussions with some fantastic  people. All of this was considerably enhanced by being in what is a very special place.”

Rebecca Goss (Head of Finance at Saltrock Surfwear)

"Thank you so much for welcoming me.  The last few days have been a rollercoaster and I have found the conversations challenging, thought provoking and very rewarding."

Patrick Craven (Executive Director, City & Guilds)

"It was a privilege to spend such quality time with everyone.  For me, St George’s House and the Society of Leadership Fellows is where I go to do my best thinking – the space is built for it and the programmes, delegates and facilitation just fuel the opportunity.”

Kevin Doyle (Managing Director, Jaytec)

So many of us went away with fire in our bellies to tackle the issues that had held us back from achieving our goals.  My biggest thanks go to my fellow participants.  Your feedback was challenging, yet constructive and supportive.  Without this, the barriers which had been holding me back would not have been challenged and a way through realised.

Nigel Cushion (Company Chairman & Founder/ Chairman of Nelsonspirit)

"I found this Leadership Conversation a fantastic, uplifting, challenging and memorable experience. The facilitation allowed us all to give the best of ourselves - it was engaging, warm and respectful, yet robust. 10/10. I left with renewed hope as well as an edge to make things happen with pace."

Mandy Smith (Director of Sales & Customer Service, City & Guilds)

"I usually find these events very difficult, when your invitation came through I had to really challenge myself to attend. I am so pleased that I took the risk and came out of my comfort zone. I thoroughly enjoyed working with so many talented people, and their experiences/ advice were immeasurable. I feel like I have grown so much as a leader."

Evelyn Nordhoff (Adviser UK defence industry, former Official Australian MoD)

“I feel deeply that you shared the spirit of St George with each of us; a fundamental shift occurred within me and I feel much braver to begin the next chapter now!  For those who may think they have reached their full potential: prepare to be truly amazed!"

Hardeep Rai (MD, Kaleidoscope Investments for disabled entrepreneurs)

“I really enjoyed it and it came together at the end with some valuable take-aways.  I loved hearing the different stories and felt we all gelled together very well.”

Melissa Goddard (Owner of a multi award-winning private dental practice)

“I didn't have high expectations after attending similar things in the past but I got so much out of being stretched, challenged and coaxed out of my comfort zone yet all the while feeling safe and nurtured.  Being bathed in all that dynamism, experience, wisdom and positivity was like a shot in the arm.  I could get addicted!”

Simon Witts (Chief Executive of the Aviation Skills Partnership)

"A stunning event and one of the best that I have ever attended. The blend of the preparation, the people, the expertise and guidance, the location, the subject and the epiphanies created an exceptional experience."

Willy Stewart (Chairman and CEO of Stewart)

"What an amazing and inspirational Windsor experience. I walked away with a sense of purpose and direction. It was a tremendous learning opportunity that clearly showed me that we can lead with empathy and discipline."

Subash Dave (Founder of AGORA, a soft goods manufacturer in Florida)

"Windsor was an amazing experience with phenomenal results for me. I have made vows to change my behaviors in the past with no success of continuity. Once I discovered that other participants had similar issues to mine, it was easier to decide to change my behaviors this time, with a strong resolve."

Rob Brew (Chief Financial Officer of the Training Room)

"I got far more from the event than I expected to and am sure this is a direct result of the manner in which the sessions were facilitated. I gained a level of insight into myself that I wasn't expecting and found the rest of the group very engaging and insightful."

Nina Robinson (Finance Director with her own consultancy business)

"I am privileged to have been part of a diverse, dynamic group of very successful individuals, each one with unique talent yet humble and immensely supportive. Unimaginable until I experienced it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, inspired and confident I go forward!"

Mike Gaston (CEO & Principal of South Downs College & Interim Principal, Havant College)

"I thought that the dynamics and energy of this group were particularly strong allowing us to work with a high level of two way trust that allowed for some real personal breakthroughs."

Julian Ross (Managing Director at IKnow-UK and Wireless Social)

"I'm taking so much away with me having met some amazing people and discovered a new sense of self worth."

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