Alan Park, Operations Director, Center Parcs UK speaks on the benefits of the Advanced Personal Leadership programme at Henley Business School and how it has helped him become more aware of the impact of his interactions with people

Why did you choose the Advanced Personal Leadership programme at Henley Business School?

‘To be honest, I needed to take time away from the day-to-day challenges, and stretch myself; see myself from a different angle. I received an email from Henley giving details of the APL programme, looked up the programme and felt that it offered what I was looking for.’ 

What were your hopes and expectations, and did the programme meet them?

 ‘As well as getting away from the norms of business and challenging myself, I guess that I wanted the objective feedback and support of others and a safe environment for a bit of reflective thinking. ‘And as much as I went in with an open mind, I really wasn’t prepared for how different this programme is from any other leadership or management course I’d ever been on. For the first day, I really wondered if this was for me – it takes such a different approach. But once I’d adjusted to it, I realised that it was the best programme I’ve ever attended. But if you go on this programme expecting it to be a traditional learning course, you’ll be very disappointed! ‘I stretched myself more than I could ever have believed possible. I jumped right out of my comfort zone, but in a way that I never felt exposed, and that’s a very liberating feeling. I came away from my time at Henley absolutely buzzing!’

What differences has it made to the way you work? 

“The Advanced Personal Leadership programme has made me so much more aware of the impact of my interactions with people. In particular, I’ve learned how to be much more conscious of how the things I do and say might affect those around me. ‘I’ve learned the importance of being true to my own values and beliefs, and now have the confidence to speak my mind, but always in a constructive way. Giving instant feedback is really important too, but it has to be done sensitively. ‘And the one-to-one coaching tools I acquired on the programme have been invaluable, and have helped me to guide colleagues towards resolving issues. ‘This programme definitely isn’t for everyone. You have to want to stretch yourself, and be open-minded. But the programme directors and consultants are tremendous, and of course, the environment is incredible; the biggest surprise was how good the food was! It’s a very special place.’

Source : https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/assets.henley.ac.uk/legacyUploads/pdf/exec-ed/Case_Study_Alan_Park___APL__Center_Parcs_jan_15.pdf

Image Source: https://static.pierreetvacances-immobilier.com/animation/programmes/CP_Hauts_de_Bruyeres/galerie_960X528/CP_Hauts_de_Bruyeres5.jpg