On 26 March 2012 Kent Business School students gathered at the Medway campus for the final day of the Paul Dyer Leadership Challenge. Over the course of a month this free event has provided the students with an invaluable opportunity to develop their leadership skills, bolster their confidence and enhance their management capabilities. These strengths will enhance their academic and personal lives while at the University of Kent and help them achieve their full potential in their careers beyond graduation.
Having founded and managed Towergate Partnership, a company with 5,500 employees, Paul Dyer is very familiar with the traits required to be a successful leader and the challenges that leaders need to overcome. An alumnus of the University of Kent, Paul recognizes that academic qualifications can be enhanced with additional experiences to bridge the gap that can exist between academic achievement and the requirements of employers. In sponsoring this event, Paul wishes to support, encourage and inform business students to be the best leaders that they can be in order to meet the personal, professional and organisational leadership challenges of the future.
Feedback consistently received from participants indicates that the experience is “a life-changer” and participants gain the confidence to step into the world of work from the world of studies, rather than facing a chasm on the completion of their study. The course, run by ex-army personnel, helps students to realise their potential.
Paul concluded the event with a presentation in which he drew on his own business experiences. Paul said, “Communication skills are critical and organisations want to see employees as thoughtful contributors. Leaders need to project confidence and trustworthiness and the ability to stand up in a storm and lead people through chaos. Participants of this event have already demonstrated their potential to do that.”
Finally Paul presented all the participants with certificates of achievement and a signed copy of his latest book, ‘Panic, Passion and Power, Lessons from a Management Journey’. In addition places on a weekend expedition preparation programme in the Brecon Beacons National Park were awarded to Daniel McGrath for Personal Achievement and to Constandinos Siafakas for Contribution to the Paul Dyer Leadership Challenge.
Professor Katie Truss, Head of Kent Business School at Medway and organiser of the Challenge, commented, “The Challenge has been a fantastic opportunity for our students to practice and develop their leadership skills in real-life situations. We are very grateful to Paul for his generous donation that has enabled us to introduce the Challenge at Kent. We are planning to extend the Challenge to a wider group next year so that even more students can take part and enhance their employability.”
The Paul Dyer Leadership Challenge is an annual event and is a unique opportunity for students to enhance their employability by learning about leadership, applying that learning through a series of challenges, receiving supportive coaching and reflecting on the experiences as a group. For further information and to be notified of the next Paul Dyer Challenge event at Kent Business School, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details.