By Craig Chambers, Group CEO
When I walked onto the Harvard Business School campus for the “Authentic Leader Development” course, I didn’t expect it would turn out to be the most self-reflective period of my life.
If I thought the intensive five-day programme was going to deliver a step-by-step guide on how to be a great business leader then I was wrong. What it did provide was an enlightening and life-changing experience that I hope will always guide me going forward.
The introspection that is encouraged during the course meant having to revisit my life story and share some of my most challenging moments to date. This was a difficult process to go through, made easier not only by the environment Harvard Business School created but also by the six others I was fortunate enough to be teamed with in my living group. As a group of globally diverse people, forced together as strangers on a Sunday afternoon, we left as lifelong friends the following Friday. This connection was developed quickly through mutual trust and respect, leading to the creation of an unbreakable bond.
I have learned that leaders in all walks of life should be self-aware and never afraid to show their vulnerabilities.
We’re all human beings with our own set of weaknesses and strengths – and we should be assured enough to share these equally. The ability to be openly vulnerable is a sign of strength.
I now understand what my purpose is in life and how that resolution has been shaped through my own life experiences.
It was quite a surreal experience to explore my psyche, bringing my purpose from my sub-conscious to my conscious and learn how to utilise this as my driving force going forward.
I can now appreciate that while I have always been aware of “what I am”, now I’m aware of exactly “who I am”.
While I may not have left this programme as someone who is fundamentally better at leading TBR as an organisation, I know I have returned to Scotland as a better human being with an enhanced outlook on life. Perhaps that in turn will make me a better leader.