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The way we lead has changed hugely over the past few decades, under the influence of numerous theories of management and organizational behaviour, and in line with how follower attitudes have changed.
However, the personality, style and impact of the individual leader remains the most important factor in the performance of leadership – motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal.
Which raises two questions every senior leader should consider: Who am I as an individual and a leader? And, how am I perceived by the people I seek to lead? These are particularly worthwhile questions to ask in the context of the findings of modern neuroscience: that learning and changing as a person is not, as once perceived, the province of the young; we all have the capacity to learn and continually change throughout our lives.
Henley Business School's Advanced Personal Leadership Program is unique in putting these questions to the fore and providing a space for senior executives to confront their own personal impact as leaders, good or bad, and to find what they might improve on through change. The program is about observing and understanding oneself and the participating group's reaction to one’s leadership style. It is not about learning set skills or adopting a prescribed way to lead.
The five-day residential program is totally experiential. Participants learn, not by absorbing theory, but by exercising leadership, and followership, across a number of tasks, with their individual development supported through academic and peer-to-peer feedback and discussion, and towards the end of the program through one-to-one coaching.
Real issues of power and influence, motivation and authority are experienced and have to be managed, as are issues of conflict, alliances, negotiation and competition. By better understanding how they personally take on these issues, and how their actions are perceived by the group, participants can improve how they respond to and manage them in future, leading to greater self-belief, courage, authority and confidence.
The experiential tasks participants encounter mirror the multiple challenges leaders face in complex fast-changing organizations, so although sharply focused on individuals the ultimate beneficiaries of this program will be the organizations in which they lead. The program offers a place where busy senior leaders can develop profoundly, both intellectually and emotionally, enhancing their ability to build confident and committed teams, manage multiple stakeholders, and in the end help their organizations achieve greater competitive edge.
In this short video Program Director, Kate Hudson introduces the program:
Set in the heart of the Thames Valley and conveniently located for London, Henley is one of the oldest and most respected business schools in Europe. Number 20 in the world for the combined ranking of open and custom programmes (FT 2019), it is part of an elite group of business schools to be triple-accredited for the quality and capability of faculty and output.
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