Leaders emerge at Vita
Vita's Emerging Leader program is helping team members to hone their leadership skills.
American political activist, Ralph Nader once said: “The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.”
At Vita Group, we’re big believers in this philosophy. Since our inception more than 21 years ago, we have strived to deliver results by having strong leaders at all levels of the business and have invested heavily in tools and programs to help us achieve this.
One such program is Emerging Leader – a twelve-month training academy for our team members who we believe have the potential to be what we call ‘leaders of leaders’.
“Just because you lead a team, doesn’t necessarily mean you have what it takes to be a leader,” says Leadership Development Consultant at Vita Group, Daniel Scott. “That’s why we created the Emerging Leader program, to teach all of our people who are responsible for a team, the qualities and skills they need to be truly effective leaders.”
Launched in September 2014, Emerging Leader is made up of workshops, presentations and other collaborative learning events with both pre-work and post-work to support overall learning.
“It’s very skewed to practical learning,” says Mr Scott. “There is initial theory to give participants a solid foundation, but then they are very quickly exposed to real life scenarios where they are expected to put what they’ve learnt into action.”
This includes proving their ability to carry out difficult conversations, to resolve conflict and to effectively coach their teams.
“In addition to on the job training and assessment, participants also have to present to our Group Leadership Team and Operations team on how they would resolve key issues,” says Mr Scott. “It’s a full-on learning experience but the end result is that we have leaders right across the business helping to create high performing teams that will consistently deliver excellence for our customers and stakeholders.”
“During my time in the program, I had the opportunity to develop a range of skills and be exposed to new challenges - from presenting to problem solving and of course leading leaders,” says Sarah Ennor, who is Retail Learning Team Leader at Vita and was one of the first graduates of the Emerging Leader program. “Emerging Leader sets you up for leadership success and provides you an opportunity to build cross-functional relationships with teams throughout Vita.”
Like a true training academy, Emerging Leader participants are graded and must achieve a pass in order to graduate. For our Chief Executive Officer, Maxine Horne, this success comes down to how participants’ teams perceive them.
“It is your team – not you – who determines whether you are successful,” she says. “If your team does not trust you, or lacks confidence in you, then they will be uninspired and likely to not follow you.”
For more information on what it’s like to work at Vita Group, visit our Careers page.
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