SFE Young Professionals: What does leadership mean to you?

Laura Smith, Solicitor at Kames Capital, discusses SFE Young Professionals recent breakfast event ‘Fast Track to the Top’ focusing on the ten key skills common to successful people and what success at work means to young professionals.

The Scottish Financial Enterprise Young Professionals ‘Fast Track to the Top’ event was an interactive session drawing on experiences and aspirations of what leadership means to us.

The Speaker Ros Taylor is a leading UK and international psychologist and executive coach who travels the world developing the leadership potential of employees through the Just Leadership Ros Taylor Company® programme which she formulated.

While researching her book ‘Fast Track to the Top’, Ros interviewed 80 CEOs and senior directors asking, ‘What attributes most strongly and repeatedly emerge as the definers of board directorship?’

We were initially asked to comment on who our favourite successful leaders were and what it takes to become a successful leader. Numerous suggestions were made, but interestingly no one commented on any leaders from their own workplaces.

The session made me think about my approaches to problem-solving at work, to think about conducting myself in a more confident manner and having a better idea of my strengths in what I can bring to my team at work.

This session highlighted how we, as young professionals in the financial services sector, could develop our leadership skills for the future by drawing on our strengths and focusing on areas of development by having greater personal awareness.

It was also interesting to hear about Ros’ interaction with the executives that she interviewed as part of her research and how the ten commandments of success came about particularly on delivery of results and creative thinking.

This session really drew out the variety of people in the room and gave a greater understanding of our own profiles and skills with various short interactive exercises. Many attendees were nodding in agreement after the ‘shape exercise’ which involved selecting a shape which we were drawn to and hearing the common characteristics associated with these profiles.

This was a networking opportunity with a bit of a difference and has given food for thought on thinking about achieving success at work and what it means.

Fast Track to the Top was hosted by Burness Paull LLP on 11 October 2018. Follow SFE YP on LinkedIn for upcoming events and news.