Pradeep and Jess designed and delivered a rich and rewarding programme for mid-level leaders at Rabobank.

These leaders were internally selected as individuals who may benefit from a period of reflection and discovery on what is it to be a leader as they continue their careers in the London office and whose vision, guidance and impact would be crucial to Rabobank’s future success.

Over the course of six months this diverse cohort was supported and challenged through a blended learning mix of one-to-one coaching, facilitated workshops, experiential activities, peer-led action learning sets, self-assessment, and self-study. The aim of the programme was to develop practical leadership skills and confidence in line with Rabo’s existing leadership behavioural competencies.

At the core of the programme was Rabobank’s commitment to an inclusive working environment and the programme was developed in conjunction with Rabobank’s L&D and D&I teams to ensure Inclusive Leadership was at heart of the skills being developed. This included a module specifically designed for female identifying leaders and content on allyship and unconscious bias.

The culmination of the programme was a series of projects led by the cohort to make tangible changes to the business. These projects gave the leaders a chance to put into practice the skills and confidence they had developed to create positive change across their networks in the bank.

Rabobank worked with Aspire Leadership to put in the resources to support those projects including coaching from the Senior Leadership team for the cohort with Aspire providing coach-development training for the SLT members. Rabobank also took an innovative approach to developing leadership in ‘real time; creating projects that are explicitly linked to the prevailing strategy, allow for freedom to create and lead teams but which also allow room for learning and experimentation in a ‘safe’ environment.

Will Jennings, General Manager of Rabobank in the UK, notes:

Leadership is not learnt in a classroom or from a book, it is learnt through experience: the experience of the individual and the experiences and expectations imparted on the individual by those around them. It is uniquely personal and it’s why coaching, practical engagement and opportunity are so important as part of this programme. By building a programme that contributed directly to our business, that forges experience based in our reality and that gives confidence to experiment we create leaders that have a real world appreciation of the challenges of real leadership and who are encouraged and inspired to find the next wave of leaders.

Preparations are being made for the next cohort of leaders to come through the programme.

Here are some of the comments from the participating leaders:

The programme provided me with valuable insights, time, and space to reflect and a whole host of tools and techniques to utilise. Pradeep and Jess were great to work with

I have benefitted hugely from this course. The material was interesting and relevant and was beautifully delivered. I am already putting into practice some of my new found skills

A really fantastic and insightful leadership programme with the right mix of content and opportunities for self-reflection and realisation. Pradeep and Jess were true facilitators on the leadership journey to help me find out for myself, my defining brand of leadership

It was refreshing to look in depth at leadership through a variety of lenses and to come to the realisation that leadership is multi-faceted and personal

Facilitated in a great way to keep challenging you to think about the many different facets of leadership

The programme really brought to life the challenges of leadership in an energetic way facilitating lively discussions with like-minded leaders. Completing the programme has given me confidence in my own leadership and many useful tools to put into practice going forward.