Senior leadership skills programme

Available in-house UK-wide

A comprehensive development programme for senior leaders. Covers topics including strategic management, stakeholder management, building staff engagement, team cohesion and developing organisational culture

Two day course,
adapted to your group's needs and delivered at your offices


About the course

Course overview

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For any senior leader the central challenge is to harness the skills and energy of others to deliver the organisation’s strategic objectives. At every level, effective management is a key component in an organisation’s long-term success.

The most effective leaders can get the maximum possible effort from their team whilst maintaining professional working relationships, wellbeing and a sense of shared purpose. But achieving this balance is not easy. Even the most talented natural leaders need to develop an understanding of a wide range of skills, from identifying and developing individuals’ key strengths to how to set motivating objectives and manage under-performance.

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Our Senior Leadership Development Programme is all about providing senior leaders and aspiring Directors with the confidence, knowledge and skills to be more effective leaders and managers. It focuses on strategic management, stakeholder management, building staff engagement, team cohesion and developing the organisation’s culture. There is also an important opportunity to develop delegates emotional intelligence and awareness of their own leadership style, and what this means for how they are perceived by others.


Key details

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Key areas covered by this programme include:

  • Strategic management
  • Advanced leadership & management Skills
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Strategic stakeholder management
  • Staff engagement
  • Organisational culture
  • Managing performance, attitudes and conflict

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Day 1

Introductions and learning objectives

Personal action planning carried out throughout the session

Strategic Management

  • Building a strategic mindset – where do we need to get to and how do we get there?
  • Key principles of strategic thinking and planning
  • Carry out an analysis of a market or industry to reveal areas of possible strategic opportunity of threat
  • Evaluate your organisation’s relative strengths and capabilities
  • Use a range of strategic planning tools
  • Use strategic concepts and models to generate, evaluate and assess strategic options
  • Identify goals, objectives and tactics for the next 2-5 years


Leading People

  • Action-centred leadership – managing the task, the team and the individual
  • What sort of leader are you? Questionnaire completed
  • Identify the impact of different leadership styles on team performance and motivation
  • Developing a flexible leadership style
  • ‘The function of leadership is to create more leaders, not just more follower’: delegation and succession planning


Emotional Intelligence

  • The four core areas and 12 aspects of Emotional Intelligence
  • The link between EI and effective leadership
  • Ways to increase our Emotional Intelligence


Strategic stakeholder management

  • Identifying your key stakeholders – inside and outside of the orgnasiation
  • What is your natural influencing style? (questionnaire competed before the course)
  • Understanding the wider political landscape and ways to influence this
  • Using networks, coalitions and ‘pre-meeting meetings’ to increase your influence
  • Develop your own stakeholder engagement strategy
Day 2
Review of Day One
Engagement and Motivation unpicked and explored: 
  • What do we mean by motivation and engagement? (Group activities)
  • Why do they matter? What are the business benefits? (Research shown)
  • Ways to increase engagement and motivation at work (Individual and group activities) 
Effective Communication
  • What gets in the way of effective communication at work?
  • Communication Quiz – how can we ensure our ‘messages’ are understood?
  • Improving communication as a means of reducing conflict and increasing effectiveness
  • The role of words, tone and body language
  • Persuasive communications and presentation skills
Manage Performance and tricky attitudes and behaviours with staff
  • Set clear expectation for staff
  • Gather evidence to measure people’s performance and behaviour
  • Manage people with a ‘poor attitude’
  • The GROW model to help staff make their own decisions, solve their own problems and use their initiative more
  • Follow through on performance-related conversations
  • Action planning on own performance-related conversation to build confidence
Manage Conflict
  • Recognise what presses your buttons and how to respond when this happens
  • The Amygdala hijack – why is it harder to think clearly under pressure?
  • Recognise the difference between ‘intention’ and ‘behaviour’
  • Manage own behaviours when under pressure
  • Five different communication styles and when each one works best
Team Challenge
  • Includes planning, organising, motivating, instructing, feedback, strategy and vision – and having fun!
Final personal action plan

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This course has been designed to meet the needs of senior leaders – Heads of Department, Directors and C-suite, or those soon to be taking on such roles.


Coaching, psychometrics and diagnostics

Gallup Strengths Finder psychometric assessment and coaching call – This assessment identifies the delegate’s top five strengths and the coaching call explores how they use these strengths at work. Evidence shows that staff who are able to use their strengths in their daily roles are six times more likely to be engaged at work. This coaching call would take place about one month before the training days and provides an excellent opportunity for the delegate and the trainer to get to know each other and start exploring issues that are relevant to the programme.

Emotional Intelligence 360-degree assessment – The assessment measures twelve aspects of “Emotional Intelligence” including the ability to understand and manage themselves so that, as a leader, individuals can build positive relationships with and influence others.

One to one coaching session including 360-degree assessment feedback – The feedback will focus on i) understanding how others perceive the delegate and their ability to manage themselves and build productive relationships in a range of leadership situations, ii) facilitate a discussion with the trainer about these perceptions so that self-awareness and awareness about how others interpret their actions grows, iii) put together strategies, tactics and an action plan so that they can be more effective in building relationships and influence in a leadership role, and thus build their Emotional Intelligence.

Course leader

Kate Jennings is a highly experienced leadership development consultant and coach, as well as a qualified counsellor. She has facilitated large-scale wellbeing, leadership and communications programmes for a wide range of organisations.

Kate’s background is in the food industry, where for many years she led teams working with clients such as M&S, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. Building on this experience she has spent 15 years working with executives and staff teams for some of the UK’s most well-known organisations. Kate works across private, public and voluntary sectors, with clients in the UK, Europe and USA.

Kate Jennings - Cambridge Executive Development

Track record

“This course was unlike any other I have been on and it has been nothing short of transformational for me.”
Scientist, British Antarctic Survey

“[The trainer’s] experience is invaluable and her communication and delivery are second to none. She made things very clear and made sure everybody understood and participated.”
Delegate, Entrepreneur’s Circle

“Extremely engaging and enjoyable… I have learnt things that I can apply straight away.”
Director, Country Land and Business Association

“A great experience. I have taken a lot out of these two days.”
Finance Manager, Insight Certification

“This has provided me with the confidence I have been lacking for some time.”
Senior Office, University of Wales

“Very enjoyable and motivating. Will put into practice with my team.”
Delegate, Westminster City Council


Cambridge Exec clients - leadership

Additional learning resources

Post-course support

We understand that your professional development doesn’t end when you walk out of the classroom. The time you’ve put in will only make a real impact if your learning is carried into the way you work. That’s why we offer post-course support in implementing your new skills, for as long as required. Your trainer is available to discuss problems, provide advice or offer feedback until you feel confident on your own.

E-learning package

This course also includes access to an ‘e-learning pinboard’, a password protected webpage where your trainer has posted articles, videos, interviews and other useful tools around the topic for you to draw on for inspiration and ideas going forward.

In-house courses at your offices

If you have any questions or if you would like to speak to one of our trainers about how this course could work for your organisation please get in touch. We can deliver the course at your offices, anywhere in the UK – and beyond.

In most cases we can provide an all-inclusive quote to cover design, delivery and materials with some basic information:

  • Which course you are interested in
  • Where the course would take place
  • How many delegates need to be trained

Just drop us a line with these basic facts and we’ll get back to you with a no-obligation quote on the same day.