School Leadership Day 2009

Leadership Day 2009


Twenty-five School Fellows met at Paddington Arts on a sunny September morning, ready for a day of information, discussion, activity... and some of those pastries from the Lisboa Patisserie.  Half of the Fellows had been the year before and had a good idea of what to expect, while the other half were new to the Fellowship and to the ideas and opportunities on offer.



Andrew Cowen, grandson of Lord Rank, gave a bravura performance in an opening presentation which covered the thinking behind the Rank Foundation, the emphasis on encouraging leadership among the young and his ten essential qualities of leadership.  This was a dynamic talk, infused with wit, references from all quarters and an inspirational encouragement to make the most of everything at one's disposal.  It seems such a key text for the Fellowship that we have kept it accessible on the Fellowship website here.

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The next session of the day was a discussion of Community Action Placements.  It was really good to hear of the terrific enthusiasm with which Fellows had undertaken their placements and the different facets of leadership which they had observed in the various projects around the Rank family.  Jason Chaffer followed this session with an interview with Jeremy Wilson, a Fellow who has enjoyed an extraordinarily successful career in merchant banking.  Jeremy's account of how he had moved from a Cambridge engineering degree to the top echelons of JP Morgan aroused considerable interest from the Fellows present, as did his ability to match a successful career with his love of mountains and the outdoors.  Jeremy's offer of advice whenever called on was an insight into the way in which the Fellowship looks to provide mentoring and help for younger Fellows.


A superbly improvised session in the Paddington Arts dance studio rounded off the morning: Eldora Edward is an old friend of the Fellowship and she always produces a sensational modern dance workshop: School Fellows never forget it!



After lunch, Leanne McGing spoke about her time on the Rank GAP Scheme with the Bolton Lads and Girls Club: Ryan Malone prompted her with his interview questions and her experiences will have certainly encouraged School Fellows to think positively about the possibility of applying for the GAP programme.  The final session was another interview, with Adam Grodecki of Student Hubs.  In his understated way, he told the story of how he had activated and coordinated student involvement in charitable activity at Oxford University, getting three thousand undergraduates on board, spreading the idea to three other universities (with requests from twelve others) and changing the university's official attitude to community engagement after 800 years.


This was another very successful day, requiring high levels of concentration from School Fellows, but providing considerable rewards and setting the tone for new Fellows.



Some reactions:


I thought the Leadership Day was really enjoyable and well worth attending. In terms of what I found particularly useful, invaluable almost, was the interview with Jeremy Wilson which was incredibly informative and interesting; it really made clear the value of being a Rank Fellow and being part of such a resourceful network.


I definitely enjoyed the dance session most, as it was a relaxing break; although just meeting other Fellows for the first time was a very enjoyable experience in its own right.


I found the Leadership Day very enjoyable. It was fun as it was good to meet the other Fellows and also it was interesting to find out more about the the Foundation itself. I think that it was particularly useful to meet older Fellows, and to find out how the Fellowship has helped in their lives.


I would like to thank you for a wonderful day in L ondon and a very eye opening set of interviews.


Just to say thank you so much for a great Leadership Day. I found it fantastic meeting people with similar interests and talents


I thought the day was a lot of fun and very interesting. The best parts were hearing from people who had already done their placements and in fact it made me even more keen to get involved and do my placement

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