I decided to do Ignite with Rural Coach for two key reasons.
Firstly, I wanted to formalise my learnings on leadership, and secondly, I wanted to consolidate and build on the life experience and intuitive skills I had developed as a business owner and community leader since starting my business over twenty years ago. In short, I thought that it would be useful to get some ‘extra tools’ in the toolkit to complement the skills I had picked up at the coalface through learned experience.
When I arrived for the course, I was immediately impressed by the calibre of people in the room – every sector was represented – corporates, bankers, farmers and small business owners. The first icebreaker was really endorsing, and immediately settled everyone’s nerves, sowing the seeds for the group dynamics that would develop over the next two days.
In terms of what we learnt, it was most definitely about coaching and what an effective coach looks like. To use the All Blacks as an analogy, I felt we learnt how to develop coaching plans with the players on our team – focusing on plans that would last for the full 80 minutes; making sure that every player’s plan was developed as “their plan” and not “our plan done for them”. In order to learn and cement the leadership and coaching skills, it meant doing some role playing ourselves, and getting slightly out of our comfort zone at times, in order to learn, practice and acquire the skills for long-term use.
From a personal perspective, the material made me reflect on my own leadership style for my business and community roles, but also ask the bigger question about the style that I wanted to have in my life overall.
By actively engaging and participating in the course, I came to see that the many different hats I wear can in fact be confusing for people – and so when I am communicating, I need to be clearer about which hat I’m wearing with my audience, and with myself too.
Over the two days, there was a lot to process and I was pretty maxed out at the end of each day. That’s where the course notes came into their own. They were awesome, and they are still on the top of my paperwork so that I can refer back to them often. This is a not a course where you are pumped for a few days afterwards, and then you start to forget what you’ve learned. Instead, these are skills you can use all the time … for self reflection and ongoing growth.
Without doubt, Ignite gave me the confidence and self assurance I was looking for, and helped me realise that all leaders have vulnerabilities and insecurities, and we all need to learn and practice the skills required for effective leadership. It gave me a shot in the arm of confidence, and now, when I get into leadership situations, I don’t second guess myself anymore. Instead I get on with giving people the skills to move from A to B.
If Rural Coach offered a refresher course, I’d be back in there in an instant – it’s gold. I wouldn’t go anywhere else for leadership training, as I don’t think it could get any better or that you could get better value for your money. If anyone asked me about leadership training, I would highly recommend this course. My advice - Choose Ignite.