As soon as I sat down for the introductory briefing on day one of the Emerging Leaders Course I instantly felt at home; I felt welcomed, immediately supported and I could sense that bubble of excitement for learning start to surface. This is what Clore is very good at, creating an inclusive learning environment that allows you to feel relaxed, nurtured, challenged and encouraged. So, as my nerves were calmed I felt ready to take on the jam-packed six days ahead.
You can read about all the wonderful things you will learn on this course from this website, so as not to repeat content I want to share something that I experienced from my Clore journey that has had the greatest impact on my work and personal life.
The two Clore Facilitators were such positive role models with the way they communicated, managed the course and allowed us to question, reflect and flourish in a supportive environment. I’m glad I trusted what they said on that first day, when it was mentioned that some of the lessons learnt and experiences taken from the course may crop up at random times, even months later! So, I was pleasantly surprised when five months down the line whilst away on a trip I experienced my post Clore light bulb moment.
When the course ended I was buzzing with ideas and motivation, I wanted to run home and talk Clore to everyone and anyone who would listen. However, as most of us will appreciate, the demands of work and life are still there when you return, much like returning from a lovely holiday and having to then spend the next week catching up on emails. As the weeks and months rolled by, where work seemed to be running at 100mph, I became aware of my increased frustration with myself that I wasn’t allowing time to absorb my Clore journey, and even more frustratingly not being able to ‘apply’ the lessons learnt - governance changes I wanted to implement and funding applications I promised myself I would write. So, I had a word with myself in the attempt to be mindful and trust myself that the right time for reflection and change will come…and BOOM, five months later it arrived!
When I’ve spoken about this ‘light bulb’ moment with friends and colleagues I’ve been asked what this actually means, what was it that made me realise I was ready to take on what I’d learnt on the Clore course and start applying it to life? In the months after the course, once the excitement of being in the bubble faded, I noticed this unsettled feeling had started to accumulate. I was ignoring what I’d learnt to simply ‘survive’ at work. I decided to put this feeling on the back burner until I could find time to address it and work out what it actually meant. So, I chose to continue existing in my 100mph life because that’s what I knew best. That was my safety net that allowed me to function at work, juggle life and commitments as I had been doing for years. However, at the end of a particularly busy working period I noticed I was almost at burn out; I needed a break, to get away to reflect, think and be, just as the Emerging Leaders course had encouraged me. Once I was away from my working environment and looked over my course notes, that unsettling feeling started to unravel and a few things came to light.
I realised I had returned to work as the same Leader I was before the Clore course, I was repeating patterns and using the same methodologies to operate a creative company. So at this ‘light bulb’ moment I decided I was going to slow down, make changes, be brave and try out new ways of working, new methods of organizing, planning, implementing, and that it was ok to make these changes, to discover what worked and what didn’t, and to be bold with my new confidence and skills as the creative leader I wanted to be.
As soon as the light bulb switched on, my mindset and confidence to truly explore my leadership style and values seemed unstoppable. In this time I developed my company’s five-year business plan, I’m now in the stages of developing a charity and setting up a board of Trustees, communication methods at work have become increasingly productive and as a result the team are working more independently and taking on new projects. In my personal life I feel I am now living my core values daily, the values I was encouraged to explore and embrace on the course.
The Emerging Leaders Course has been one of the highlights of my year. From the talented professionals we were lucky enough to learn from, making a great network of new friends, being able to question and challenge my values and leadership ideologies in a healthy way and to truly work out who I am. I felt empowered to take brave and exciting steps to make the dreams a reality. So, if I could share any tips or insights about the Clore Emerging Leaders experience it would be to absorb every conversation, presentation, note-taking moment during the week, and be ok with it not taking full effect immediately; allow yourself time and space to doodle in the note pad, reflect on the type of leader you truly want to be and enjoy the light bulb moment when it arrives!