From Corporate Fundraiser to CEO
I first met Sharpstone Skinner when I was working as a fundraiser for the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID). They ran an Advanced Presentation Skills course, I was a participant, and I was put through my paces like never before. Previously I’d worked as an account director in a creative agency, so I knew how to present, though I believe I emerged better post my training. I was certainly more confident, but importantly I was able to pitch for funds on behalf of my organisation more successfully as I was able to balance clarity and impact of message with the passion I had for my cause and importantly with a real sense of personal impact. Even now, 15 years on, when I’m preparing a presentation, in my mind I refer to my two days of training with Sharpstone Skinner.
Since the RNID I have worked with Sharpstone Skinner in four different organisations, so something must be right here! Teamwork and understanding people is at the heart of any successful business and Sharpstone Skinner has enabled me to access the best in my teams and myself. Personal development is equally as important as professional development. If you don’t understand what makes you ‘tick’, how can you understand the needs and motivations of donors, volunteers, colleagues, clients or our beneficiaries? Insight and understanding is where Sharpstone Skinner has enabled me to invest in my greatest resource: my people. In doing so, the impact this has had on the organisations I have worked for has been outstanding.
The leadership and team development training they provide is second to none and has never failed to make an impact on results. Their facilitation of team days has allowed me to review, refocus and move my teams forward to meet the next set of objectives. Their combination of support and challenge together with their expertise and understanding of my business environment has made them an invaluable resource. Uniquely, they are also the kind of people you would choose to spend time with.
Of equal value for me has been their executive coaching for me personally. As I moved from practitioner through department head to board director and finally Chief Executive, Sharpstone Skinner has been a key personal development tool. It has been invaluable to have an empathetic and safe haven: a place to go to unload, reflect and regroup. Don’t be fooled, this is not mollycoddling, but rather a critical friend with an understanding of my working environment and the single agenda of facilitating my professional development to enable me to return to the considerable pressures of my job with renewed vigour, and the personal resilience that a clarity of thought provides one with.
I consider Sharpstone Skinner as an integral part of my success in the organisations I have worked for as well as helping me moving up to the next step of my career. When you first work with Sharpstone Skinner; you’ll wonder why you didn’t do so years before…