Leadership: My 3 key learning insights from LBF events

by Fiona Flemington
Fiona Flemington has been a member of London Business Forum for 5 years. We asked Fiona to give us a member's perspective on our events.

Being part of the London Business Forum audience is an invitation not to be missed. Why? Because you know that whoever they have chosen to present on their topic/subject area will always be insightful, knowledgeable and without doubt entertaining!

I have been a member of LBF since 2018 and in that time, I have come across some truly inspirational speakers. I am a great believer in sharing my learning, as it means that others’ will benefit from the wisdom of the thought provoking speakers that LBF have had over the years. Here are my 3 key learning insights.

Why Should Anyone Be Led by You with Gareth Jones

Gareth Jones speaking in 2020

Via the power of Zoom, Gareth appeared from his home in Hove to inspire and support leaders who were leading in the middle of a pandemic. One of the key learnings that really resonated with me, was what Gareth described as ‘Situational Sensing’.

Situational Sensing is a huge component of leadership and the main element of Situational Sensing is collecting data using your observational and cognitive skills. In the 1980’s this was a fad known as management by walking about. It was a good fad.

Situational sensing works best in an informal setting/context where you can collect data informally and in an unplanned way. The second aspect of Situational Sensing is being adaptive. Having read the context, how can I adapt my behaviour? How can I make my behaviour appropriate to this context?

Gareth was spot on with his observations and leadership insights which was reflected in the rapturous round of applause he received at the end of the 90 minutes.

Gareth was spot on with his observations and leadership insights which was reflected in the rapturous round of applause he received at the end of the 90 minutes

Everybody In – Nobody Out with René Carayol

René Carayol speaking in 2021

Sadly, René has experienced racism on many occasions, so it was a difficult listen in some parts, as no one should ever have to tolerate racism, especially in the workplace. René described diversity as being invited to the party and inclusion as being asked to dance.

This really resonated with me, and really made me think and reflect on what I can do as a white person, of privilege, when I encounter racism, sexism, prejudice or exclusion based on a person’s skin colour, gender, sexuality or religious beliefs. It was a wakeup call to us all that we really need to think and act differently when it comes to D&I.

Gravitas with Caroline Goyder

Caroline Goyder speaking in 2021

Gravitas was my favourite book of 2020. Gravitas is the difference that makes all the difference when it comes to communication. It can give you the confidence to be entirely yourself, and the power to command the trust and respect of others.

I applied all the 7 principles of Gravitas when preparing recently for a big presentation. It was with a new client, and one I really wanted to impress. The Principle I enjoyed learning about the most was Principle 2: Teach People How to Treat You. In her LBF presentation, Caroline told us that what we want to try and find is ‘Credible Passion’. We need to find the balance between credibility and approachability. When we find Credible passion, we are putting into play the Gravitas equation:

Knowledge + purpose + passion (-anxiety) = Gravitas

I recognised that when I first started my own Exec Coaching business in 2013, that I had 23 years of knowledge, a clear sense of purpose and loads of passion for what I do and love everyday – exec coaching. However, on many occasions, I was plagued by anxiety, so perhaps lost some credibility when trying to pitch for work. After watching Caroline speak at LBF and then reading her book, I applied several suggested techniques to help with the anxiety. It was absolutely life changing and cannot thank Brendan and the team at LBF enough for bringing this wonderful speaker into my life.

Fiona Flemington is The Insightful Coach, a professionally qualified Executive Coach and Leadership Development Specialist.

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