Keith Stopforth gets interactive with the Midlands Branch to discover how the world of leadership is changing.
The Midlands branch received a talk from Keith Stopforth at the impressive Stoke City Football Club to share his observations of leadership and leadership development over the years. Some 23 branch members were enthralled from the start, as the talk did not just involve sitting and listening, but discussing issues, sharing experiences and questioning the status of leadership in their organisations also.
Keith discussed what exactly is driving the changes we see in leadership today, the trends and how these affect personnel development. Keith’s discussions were interlaced with client examples and real life stories that helped understanding and brought reality to the topic. This prompted debate amongst members who shared stories to compare the differences or similar practices in their commercial world today.
Keith introduced the group to his ‘Four Pillars of Leadership’ being, authenticity, resilience, networked and learning agility. Keith believes that leaders can develop each of these skills and attributes in order to survive and thrive as a leader. Keith feels that with the events reported nowadays of commercial scandals, dishonesty, shaming and seemingly separate rules for the elite that authenticity is under threat. Leaders need to work harder than ever to recognise that authenticity plays a key role and that without true followers, leaders cannot succeed.
Being resilient meant different things to different members on the night, when discussed in groups. But Keith highlighted the need for leaders to have resilience (fitness) both mentally and physically and how this can be applied to the benefit of the team as well as the individual leader. Keith went on to discuss the need for leaders to have deep and broad networks, both internally and externally. Learning agility was the final ‘pillar’ to be presented and discussed. Everyone agreed that learning needs to be a focus and continuous, but keeping up with it will always be a challenge. Keith pondered whether perfect is doable any more and whether nearly will just have to do.
This informative and thought provoking talk was made all the more beneficial by Keith’s ability to link his thoughts, comments and opinions to real life client examples. Inviting the audience to discuss in groups the key elements affecting them within leadership roles proved to make the event deeper and more enriching. A great night was had, stories shared and new methods explored.
Keith's presentation can be seen below.