Helibron Leadership Programme 2020 – First cohort underway

The first cohort of the Academy’s Heilbron Leadership Programme 2020 is now well underway with 20 leadership colleagues taking part, who were selected following a competitive application process.

The Heilbron Leadership Programme is designed to be a collaborative learning experience which challenge leaders to think and act in new ways, to explore best practice and be part of a growing culture of leadership excellence across the university. The style is highly participative, based around Leadership Masterclasses with external speakers, allowing leaders to develop their thinking and reach new levels in their practice.

Hilary Heilbron QC

The programme is named after Dame Rose Heilbron, University of Liverpool graduate and holder of an illustrious number of ‘firsts’ in professional law and the inaugural event was attended by the Vice-Chancellor, members of SLT and Rose’s daughter, Hilary Heilbron QC.  Hilary spoke very warmly about her mother and pride at her very significant achievements in the legal profession.

Leadership Masterclasses

In late February, the group welcomed Jo Bartholomew, Chief Operating Officer at Kirklees Neighbourhood Homes, to deliver the first masterclass. Jo spoke about her successful leadership career since starting out as an electrical apprentice, the only female on the course and struggling with dyslexia.  She told her very rich, personal story in her session titled ‘You Can’t Take Your Life Out of Your Leadership’ and received very positive feedback  – one participant said it was the most inspiring talk they’d ever heard.

Mid-March saw the second masterclass with David Greensmith OBE, Barrister and Justice’s Clerk, who now runs judicial reform projects internationally. David spoke about the leadership lessons he’s learnt over the years, the need for both personal resilience and the ability to listen, and the sometimes- tough decisions he’s had to make about people and situations.

Moving Online

Like everyone at the University, we’ve needed to change our approach and move online due to COVID-19. Whilst this has meant postponing some of the planned Leadership Masterclasses, the group were keen to continue working collaboratively in these challenging circumstances. The Academy have therefore provided time and space for mutual support and discussion of the current leadership challenges which is proving highly valuable.

Heilbron participant Dr Kate Fleming, Senior Lecturer in Social Epidemiology, said “Already the learning, especially the sharing of experience with peers across the university in both academic and professional services roles, is translating to positive action in my day-to-day job. Having the time set aside to dedicate to a developing aspect of my role is incredibly valuable. Thank you to the team at the Academy for putting this programme together”.

The programme continues until July with activities including virtual group coaching sessions, privileged conversations with SLT members and a final online masterclass with Professor Shearer West, Vice-Chancellor of Nottingham University.

What’s Next?

Within the constantly evolving context within which we are now operating, leadership has never been more important; the Academy is keen to ensure that our current and future leaders are supported and equipped to effectively address the unprecedented challenges they face.  We are therefore pleased to announce that the Heilbron Leadership Programme will be offered again in 2021.  Staff (G9 and above) are encouraged to give consideration to applying for a place in next year’s cohort and discuss this with their line managers/Heads of Department. Further information about this, the timescales and how to apply will be on the Academy’s ‘Effective Leadership’ intranet site in the next few months.