What's your job role?

I am the diocesan programme manager in the Diocese of Leicester. I’m part of the Church of England.

How do you think your approach to leadership has changed or developed as a result of undertaking this programme?

I’ve had a variety of leadership roles over the years leading up to my current job. I think doing this course has helped me to understand a bit more of the theory and the research behind leadership in a way that I can understand my own leadership a lot better and also understand the leadership of my colleagues. And I work within the senior leadership team, so with my peers, we’re all leading our own pieces of work, and we do that differently, and we do it together as well. So, it’s been really good to understand that in a more robust and academic way, but also be able to apply it in my day-to-day work.

What challenges do you think the knowledge you’ve developed will help to resolve in your role?

My particular role is a lot about leading change and helping others to lead through change as well. And I think one of the things that that this course has done is to help me understand different types of leadership within a faith-based context because there aren’t very many opportunities to bring together the more academic kind of rigour of thinking about leadership and understanding leadership with that kind of faith context, and the ideas of ethical leadership that’s rooted in faith, and being able to share that with the cohort and bring ideas together. That’s been really helpful.

How have you benefited from working with your peers from other faiths on the course and what have you learned from them that you can use in your own leadership role?

I think one of the really good things about the course has been the richness of learning alongside people from different faiths. I think the recognition together that we’ve all got very similar challenges and things that we’re grappling with or ways of trying to work with other people. And despite our different faith backgrounds, we’ve all got something shared and can learn together. The perspectives of some of my colleagues from different faiths has really enriched my own understanding of my own faith and and ways of leading.

Have you learned anything that's surprised you or challenged your way of thinking about leadership in faith communities?

I think one of the things that has made me reflect a lot is around some of the thinking that we did around responsibility and accountability within leadership and how you both make sure that that is structured into your organisation, and everybody understands their role within that. But also, it’s something that I’ve started using much more intentionally to help my colleagues in what can sometimes be quite confusing organisation within the Church of England, how we’re structured, to bring a bit of clarity so that everybody can work better together on shared projects.

What advice would you give to anybody else considering taking the apprenticeship route?

It’s been a real gift, I think, being able to do it that way. I think it’s an opportunity that I probably wouldn’t have taken otherwise. And I think just having the courage to go for it would be the main thing because I’ve learned so much more than I expected, and it’s enriched my working life more than I could possibly have imagined.