What is your job?

I am a Prison Chaplain, so I’m a Sikh minister, but also just a general Prisoner Chaplain at HMP Oakwood in Wolverhampton.

How has your approach to leadership developed or changed as a result of undertaking the MPA?

I’ve become more mindful and aware of leadership. As a Sikh minister and in my professional background as a schoolteacher, we don’t necessarily identify ourselves as leaders. We are helping people and try to make a difference to people’s lives. And this course is building leadership consciousness. So, whatever I’m doing, I’ve got that leadership consciousness and it’s giving me the vocabulary or language of leadership on something which I’m already doing.

How have you benefited from working with peers from other faiths on the course and what have you learned from them that could be used in your own role?

It is nice to know that the challenges that I face in my faith community is something that is a challenge across the board with any community. So, we all have familiar challenges, and it is nice to share good practice of how people are overcoming those challenges.

Can you give an example of a challenge or some challenges that you would face in your role, but that this course is going to help you with?

Working with prisoners, we have to use influencing, and think about what type of power you are using as the dynamics can change. So, it’s about working out which kind of leader you want to be. In the prison setting, one style of leadership will not always work. There needs to be a range of styles. It has really helped me to be mindful of which one will work in each situation.

Have you learned anything that surprised you or challenged your way of thinking about leadership in faith communities during the MPA?

It’s consolidated what I already knew with added information and case studies.

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

It’s a fantastic opportunity to grow and learn about yourself, learn about your role, and it’s empowering yourself and empowering your team as well.