What does leadership actually mean, and what kind of leader are you? How can you get better at it?
As the next instalment of our Leadership Development Programme: 5 Dimensions lead by Andy Hind, is set to launch again this October, we caught up with past attendee Charlotte Payne, Music Director at Inspiring Music, the lead partner of Inspiring Music Education Hub in Central Bedfordshire.
How did she find the course and what did she learn?
Music Mark: Hi Charlotte! What made you want to sign up to a Leadership Development Programme in the first place and was there a particular element to it that appealed to you?
Charlotte Payne: Hi! After hearing from many peers how great a previous ‘Rising with the Tide’ Leadership Development Programme was, I investigated getting booked on. However, after realising this was no longer running, I attended a taster day of the new Music Mark Leadership Development programme: 5 Dimensions. The event made me a realise I wanted to attend the full course. I had only been Head of Service for 6 months at that time, so this was a golden opportunity not to be missed!
MM: What were you hoping to get out of it? Were you looking for practical tips or an opportunity to look at the bigger picture?
CP: I was hoping to find out about my strengths and areas that I found more challenging. I also wanted to discover and develop my own leadership style and techniques within this. Practical tips that were shared by the facilitator Andy Hind were hugely appreciated and affectionally became ‘Andyisms’ amongst colleagues, but Andy had a magical way of lighting the touch paper and letting the answer come from discussions and thinking time. The answers would never be the same for everyone and part of the journey was discussing the similarities and differences within the different team structures and the work forces that we lead.
MM: Did the training meet your expectations?
CP: The taster day really was a great introduction to the course, so my expectations were high and I was not disappointed! I absolutely relished the opportunity to step away from the day to day schedule and spend some time developing my own needs and reflecting on best strategies to lead on change within our music service.
MM: What did you most enjoy from taking part in the course?
CP: It was really comforting to get together with colleagues from across different music services and hubs and see that we are all dealing with similar things. The wealth of experience in the room was priceless with stories and tips being exchanged. We are all on the same journey, just at different starting points and so every conversation doing the course was important and provided ideas, tips and council. It was great to be able to give advice as well as receive in a safe space, and be able to share stories of successful outcomes. Everyone had something that they could relate to.
MM: Did you have a favourite session?
CP: I can’t say that I had any one favourite session as every single one was a treasure trove in its own right. I really liked that there were so many different job roles represented on the course and that everyone was so supportive of each other no matter how they fitted into their music service or hub.
MM: What were some of the key takeaways you took from the course?
CP: You are not the first or the last person to be dealing with the issues that you are dealing with; contact details of colleagues from other music services bringing a wealth of expertise to draw on; that everything doesn’t have to be changed immediately; and to make time to celebrate the successes!
MM: Did the course change your views on what ‘Leadership’ means? Has it changed the way you work?
CP: I feel that the course has certainly helped me find my own leadership style and that there is no one style that fits all. The course helped me to really distinguish and separate ‘leadership’ from ‘management’ and to dedicate time in knowing and owning your vision for the music service.
MM: Who would you recommend a Leadership Development Programme to?
CP: Anyone with leadership or management responsibility within their organisation.
MM: What advice would you now give to an emerging leader?
CP: This course is such an investment into oneself as a leader and taking a bit of time away to regroup, network and consider so many aspects of leadership benefits the organisation you work for so much. The course allows you to deliberate, question, and forge secure ideas and pathways into being an excellent leader and really does make you feel confident about the immense and constant change we see in our organisations.
MM: Thank you Charlotte!