Inaugural event held in London with keynotes from Cressida Dick and Catherine McGuinness

Last Friday 16, the Guildhall School of Music & Drama officially launched The Leadership Academy, a one-of-a-kind initiative that will harness the School’s deep knowledge and expertise in the arts to develop new models of leadership and leadership training for senior decision-makers.

The launch was celebrated at an exclusive gathering of leaders across the public and corporate spheres at London’s Skinners Hall and keynote speakers were Catherine McGuinness, Chairman of Policy at the City of London Corporation, and Cressida Dick, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Force in London and the first woman to hold this role.

Leading the event for the Guildhall School were Dympna Cunnane, who is taking up the role of Creative Director of the new Leadership Academy, and Patsy Rodenburg OBE, world-expert in voice, and Professor of Text and Poetry. Dympna Cunnane comes to the Leadership Academy with extensive experience in the field of leadership development and organisation consulting. Most recently she led the Learning Design team in Executive Education at London Business School.

The Leadership Academy recognises that today’s leaders are under unprecedented pressures and public scrutiny, and are often faced with a conflict between the pressures of their role and their personal values. Furthermore, we expect our leaders to exhibit wisdom, authenticity, compassion and integrity, alongside the very best technical skills. Traditional training routes do not equip leaders for these challenges.

The Leadership Academy invites today’s leaders to see their world through a new lens; to seek answers to practical leadership challenges through the humanities. Programmes will harness the richness and diversity of the worlds of art and music, taking participants on transformational personal and professional journeys towards a fuller sense of leadership while exploring what it means to be leaders who inspire trust.

Rooted in the Guildhall School’s values, the academy aims to bring its expertise, in preparing world-class professionals to perform at their best, to a different audience. Participants in The Leadership Academy will consider and understand the work and preparation required to attain performance excellence.

The Enriched Leader is the Academy’s flagship programme and the first to launch this spring. The programme invites senior executives to rethink power, authority and ethics in leadership while examining personal integrity and humility. Participants will explore these topics in the context of a number of classical texts and through intense ensemble work, leading to a deeper embodiment of values and an enhanced ability to communicate with clarity and dynamism.

The Enriched Leader is scheduled to commence in June of 2018 and an informative event for press and media will be held in April.

Professor Helena Gaunt, Vice Principal and Director of Innovation at the Guildhall School, said: ‘Through the Leadership Academy we aim to bring the essence of what we do into dialogue with contemporary leadership in public life, particularly across corporate, healthcare, law and education sectors. What we know we can offer, through embodied experience, are paths to new ways of thinking, doing and being; ones that can confront our darkest fears, and unleash our wildest hopes. And underlying this initiative is our belief that leadership is by no means just about the top job, but fundamentally about ensemble, running throughout organisations; and that young people, as well as those established in authority, can and must build the muscles of fine leadership.’

Dympna Cunnane said: ‘The Guildhall School has been training artists for the last 138 years. Much of the knowledge and craft required to reach peak performance can be translated into other contexts. What does it take to stage a great play or a memorable concert? It takes a combination on individual skills and collaborative effort with the added ingredient of leadership in the form of the Director or Conductor. Each person has to give of their best and they have to listen and attend to one another, taking space and giving space. This is the vision that inspires our work at The Leadership Academy.’

Patsy Rodenburg OBE said: “All great works of art are about the human condition; we want to bring back humanity through the arts, to business, education, health, to provide access to the knowledge and skills that have been developed over the centuries.’

 

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