Inspiring young leaders
In the run-up to this year’s Business Awards, Quolux™, the leadership development and strategy specialist and sponsor of the Lifetime Achievement Award, explores the link between good leadership and business success among previous winners. This week, Jo Draper, director of Quolux™, reflects on good leadership attributes, with a salute to previous winners of the Young Person of the Year award, Linsey Temple and Abby Guilding.
BEING a good leader is no easy task; it’s a busy and often lonely role. It requires the belief and capability to instil a positive culture, set a clear business strategy and have a thorough grip on organisational processes.
Years of experience and research shows us that good leaders are “made”, not “born” – it’s not down to personality or genetic make-up. With the right support and training we can all learn to improve what we do. Each of us can discover, hone and practise skills that can empower us to become better leaders – developing ourselves, our teams and our organisations.
We’ve had the privilege to help support two inspirational young female leaders, who were recognised as rising stars in the Gloucestershire business world through the Young Person of the Year Award. Linsey Temple, chief executive at Gloucestershire Engineering Training (GET), scooped the title in 2013 having risen through the ranks from administration apprentice to chief executive of this wellregarded education establishment, training more than 100 apprentices each year. Abby Guilding, managing director at Wiggly Worm, was granted the accolade in 2016 – taking over the reins of the multi-awardwinning charity which creates opportunities for life through practical experiences and challenges in the world of food.
Both women took part in our intensive leadership development programme LEAD™ and through that we witnessed their growth as leaders. We saw how they developed their self-belief and assurance by building their skillset and experience, not only supporting their own personal development, but helping to grow their organisations too.
Increasing self-confidence is the key to unlocking potential for many leaders. Recognising and appreciating your skills and attributes as a leader and being willing to work on those areas that you wish to improve identifies practical, actionable steps. To do this, it’s vital to stop, reflect and seek feedback from peers. This is something that works particularly well on our LEAD™ programme, where leaders feel comfortable to openly discuss issues with like-minded individuals, often gaining reassurance by the commonality of the situation and support from those who have also “been through it”. They inspire belief in each other.
Linsey and Abby are great examples of good leaders. Since their award wins, they have maintained their dedication to continual improvement, building their skills through learning, observing, practice and experience and this has reaped dividends through the organisations that they lead. Indeed, Linsey achieved her MBA (Leading Business) and Abby has received her postgraduate certificate – one-third of the way to an MBA. These pioneering work-based qualifications were created by Quolux™ in partnership with the University of Gloucestershire.
The next LEAD™ programme begins in November 2019, when we’ll be bringing together another small group of MDS, owner-managers, directors, senior managers and partners to explore their leadership and grow their companies.
To see videos from likeminded leaders and discover whether LEAD™ might help you with your leadership development,
Linsey Temple of Gloucestershire Engineering Training, pictured presenting an apprenticeship award to Kairo Sidibeh in April, won the Young Person of the Year Award in 2013