Led by Swansea University in partnership with Bangor University the ION leadership Programme is designed to develop and enhance the leadership skills of owners, managers and key decision-makers of businesses located across the convergence region of West Wales and the Valleys. 2019 sees ION Leadership celebrate 10 years of developing extraordinary leaders. Here Gary Walpole, Ion Leadership's Director, shares his thoughts on the secrets of their success.

Course graduates with their certificates

"2019 sees us celebrate 10 years of LEAD Wales / ION leadership. And what a ten years it’s been.

"We have so far worked with over 1200 leaders from across Wales, enhancing skills, driving productivity and turnover, which have all made a hugely positive contribution to the Welsh economy. We develop leaders that change the face of Wales.

"The impact of our programmes on both the individuals and their business is clear. Businesses experienced an average growth of 26% in revenue and 88% of attendees say they are better leaders as a result of attending the programme. But we won’t be happy until that figure is 100%.

"But don’t just take my word for it.

“The course enabled me to take a step back and view my business from the outside. Since starting the course, our company has seen a growth in turnover and profit, we have employed more staff and put into place better procedures which is making all of our lives a lot easier” Shaun Welsh, Commercial Director, Trojan Construction Management

So what are the secrets of our success?

"Our delegates have their own stories on how the programme has impacted on them, you can read some of them here.

"We believe there are a number of reasons behind the programme's success:

  • We are entrepreneurs and business leaders at heart who between us have clocked up over 250 years of business experience. Our experience comes from years of working in organisations such as Coca Cola SchweppesRoyal Bank of Scotland and LloydsTSB as well as successful SMEs and public sector organisations in Wales.
  • The hallmark of our programmes, we think it’s our USP, is our experiential learning style. We believe the best way of learning is through doing. We think that the most effective method of sustaining positive change beyond the short term is to allow participants the space, time and tools to experiment with different leadership styles, learn from each other and develop plans which future proof their careers and businesses. We believe in creating eureka moments, and still get excited when people experience that ‘lightbulb’ moment. Life is about those ‘lightbulb’ moments.
  • Our fantastic delegates. We have worked with some amazing people over the last 10 years, and we are still in touch with delegates from our very first cohort. When we ask former delegates to speak at our events they jump at the chance and it’s fantastic to see delegates still sharing the impact our programme has had on them and their business on our social media feeds. Once you join ION you become part of a network of leaders which has sustained itself, over the years.

"We have a lot to celebrate, and we will be celebrating throughout the whole of 2019. Keep an eye out for case studies, events, and blogs from the team as we celebrate 10 years of developing extraordinary leaders.

"It would be remiss of me to not to thank everyone who has been part of the LEAD Wales / ION leadership journey over the last 10 years. From everyone who has been part of the team, the European Social Fund and Welsh Government, our fantastic speakers, all the organisations we have partnered with and of course all of our delegates. Everyone has played a vital role in the success and we look forward to working with you all in the future, as well as working with new delegates and speakers.

"I’ll finish with a quote from a delegate who took part in our first female-only cohort, in partnership with Chwarae Teg.

'2 words sum up the programme – Absolutely necessary!'

"We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!"

To find out more about ION Leadership and discover some of the great courses on offer please visit www.ionleadership.co.uk