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This is just the beginning

Written by A.R.Fairbank@swansea.ac.uk / Wednesday 24th October 2018 / ION leadership news, / Blog posts

So, my leadership journey is over. Or has it just begun?

A few weeks ago, I graduated from the ION Leadership Leading Growth programme. After starting at ION in March 2018, I joined the programme to make it easier for me to promote and sell our programmes. You can’t market what you don’t know. I am now much more comfortable talking to people about our programme because I have experienced it. I am one of them.

So, what did I learn, about leadership and myself:

  • The experiential learning style really works for me. I learn best through doing, and then reflecting on it afterwards. Maybe not straight away. Sometimes a week later I would be driving home and ‘lightbulb’ moments would just happen.
  • I am motivated by purpose. I want to know why I am doing something. I want to know why I am getting up early every morning and spending time away from my wife and kids.
  • People wear being busy like a badge of honour and feel that they can’t take time away from their mobile or email. If you have the right people in your business then you can. You need to spend time working on the business rather than in the business.
  • I know what is important to me and the type of person I want to be. I also know the person I am not and the type of person I don’t want to be.
  • Conscientiousness and steadiness are not my strengths. And probably never will be. The DISC profiling cemented the fact that I have high energy levels, I don’t bow to conformity and sometimes listen without really listening what’s being said. I do get stuff done, but planning is not my strong point.
  • People do business with people. The way people do things is, to me, more important than what they actually do.
  • I’ve still never used the PESTEL framework in work.
  • I’m not as mentally tough as I thought I was — according to a survey anyway!
  • Swimming could be the answer to improving my mental toughness. More on this in a later blog.
  • Everyone reacts differently to change but for your business to truly thrive, you need to strive to take everyone along for the ride.
  • It’s all about people.
  • The thing I have learnt about the writing process is that I love the process of writing. David Hieatt inspired me to write more. Writing about the programme reminds me how much I have learnt. Getting things down on paper makes me think more clearly and lets me understand myself better. I’ll keep writing. It makes me happy.
  • I made the right decision to leave my job of 15 years for a new challenge at ION.
  • The ION ‘product’ is ace. The people who attend the course love it and the impact of the course on them as leaders/people and their businesses is evident. What I/we need to do better is to communicate the impact of the programme and ensure that as many managers, leaders and entrepreneurs as possible get the opportunity to participate and become truly extraordinary leaders.

The future’s bright, the future’s ION.

(This blog was originally written on Adam's Medium page)

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