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Leadership Academy advocate: Amy Jackson

A Q&A where graduates share their experiences of Leadership Academy training. What has it added to their life, both personally and professionally?


Amy Jackson

Current role

GIS and Gazetteer Manager at Elmbridge Borough Council 

Which Leadership academy programme did you join?

Top Talent 

What were your initial thoughts about participating?

The Top Talent programme looked like a challenging and interesting programme to focus on me, my career, and my future path. I was feeling that my current career and goals lacked direction and purpose. I hoped it would provide the opportunity to re-engage and build my confidence.    

What were your first impressions?

I met an interesting group of people from a variety of organisations. We shared ideas and experiences based on our personal values. The workshop approach was laid back, so people contributed enthusiastically whilst taking on new concepts from a really engaging trainer.

Exploring the power that vulnerability, mindset, and bias have on leadership and knowing when to adopt different techniques was very useful. And by the end of the first day, I was feeling energised and looking forward to the rest of the programme. 

What were the most powerful elements of the programme for you?

The Amygdala Hijack was a very powerful concept that I could really relate to and see impacting my personal and work life. I am now more aware and able to identify emotional triggers, so I can implement techniques to reduce impacts.

I also found the science of persuasion a very empowering concept and will try to use some of the techniques when formalising business cases and bid submissions, as well as in my personal life.  

[Watch a short description of an amygdala hijack.]

After graduation, what were the key things you took away with you?

I learned that it’s valuable to be vulnerable and listening is a key future development area for me. Drafting an elevator pitch was a great chance to reflect and helped to increase my confidence.

As leaders we are constantly evolving and are influenced by many factors. Having a greater awareness of these empowers us to have more control over our desired outcomes and to become better leaders.  

How did you apply these professionally and what are the direct benefits?

I have been actively using some of the techniques to develop a presence within the industry and my organisation, and to set new personal career goals.

I have consciously tried to improve my relationship management and professionalism. My comfort zone’s been pushed by attending other development events and updating my LinkedIn profile.

The direct benefits of this is I am feeling more confident and motivated, and the team is happier and more productive.  

What would you say to anyone thinking about joining the programme you enjoyed?

Great programme and networking opportunity that provides reflection, practical techniques and well researched concepts that will no doubt improve your leadership abilities and positively impact both your professional and personal life. 

Read more about the Empowering Women and Top Talent programmes. Places are subject to availability and membership level. Check with our Leadership Academy Manager for all  the information you need.