Earlier this month Alliotts partner Luke Bath, spent 6 days on a sanctuary in Kenya with fellow partner Chris Cairns on an intensive strategy and leadership course. This was the tenth time Chris has participated in, or facilitated a strategy and leadership course, but it was Luke’s first time. Here Luke describes his experience.
What was the course?
Billed ‘A strategy and leadership course’, the title really didn’t do it justice, but I doubt any words could. The course was facilitated by experienced business leaders and included hearing from members of the Maasai Tribe about how they approach leadership.
Where was it held?
At the Kimana Wildlife Sanctuary in the shadow of Kilimanjaro, around 3 hour’s drive from Nairobi we were about 10km from the border with Tanzania
Why did you go?
I didn’t need to be asked twice, I jumped at the chance to step back from daily corporate life to get the headspace and time I felt I needed to think about ‘big stuff.’ And I’ve never been to Kenya.
Who did you go with?
There was a mix of people (clients, contacts), all friends of Alliotts. We had different priorities and each of us were at different stages professionally and personally, but we all shared the need to take time out to really focus. There was a mix of personal, corporate, and career decisions amongst the group.
photo: our classroom
What did you expect?
I didn’t have any expectations. I knew I’d be away from it all, in unfamiliar territory, with some people I hadn’t met before and that it wouldn’t be 5 star luxury. I went with an open mind. What I didn’t expect was for the experience to have such an impact on my outlook and for my preconceptions and assumptions to be challenged. The facilitators really made you dig deep, but I didn’t expect to get so much from the other people there.
What exactly did you do?
It was a well-structured programme, we worked hard during the day with questions to help start the process, such as ‘Where you are and where you want to get to?’
Assignments were varied and included, one on one and group discussions; sharing input with others; constructively commenting on other’s ideas; speaking with the local Maasai community and we had time allocated to reflect on what we’d learnt and how we could integrate it into our future.
What did you get out of the experience?
I learnt a lot hearing about other peoples’ challenges and about transferable corporate skills and how they can be developed and deployed both in business and in personal life. It was insightful to hear how leadership is dealt with by a different culture. I learnt how my input can be valuable to others and that communication is not how a message is given but how it’s received.
I’ve returned with a renewed purpose for the future and a strong drive to bring about positive change in all areas.
Did you experience any challenges?
I honestly didn’t. I was prepared to be receptive, I was prepared for a lengthy journey, I was prepared for some ‘festival’ style arrangement at The Sanctuary. If any of these are challenges, believe me they are worth it.
Are you going to make any changes as a result of the experience
Yes absolutely. I won’t say what they are, but you’ll have to wait and see.
Would you go again?
Yes – without hesitation.
On reflection did it meet your expectations?
I didn’t go with any. But it exceeded anything I could have possibly imagined.
You’ve got three words to describe the strategy and leadership course
Unexpected, exciting, challenging
If you've enjoyed hearing about Luke's experience and would like to be notified about about future Strategy and Leadership courses we are running please contact us