My journey to 'Leading For Good' - a holistic leadership programme by Nicki Davey at Saltbox
Taking part in Leading for Good programme was a lifechanging experience for me. It is an invitation to five months of learning about yourself as a leader through immersion in nature and creativity. At the heart of the programme lies Tetramap, which is a way of understanding our personal qualities and hence those of others around us. Tetramap uses the four elements at its core and during the modules of Leading for Good each element and how it affects and supports us a Leaders is explored in detail. For example, air represents the mind, wisdom, detail and the teacher archetype. This use of the elements really resonated with me, I found it simultaneously easy to understand and very powerful.
Each session was 3hrs on zoom. Nicki is amazingly skilled at making video call learning creative and dynamic, it never felt like just another zoom call. Each participant received an exciting resource pack before the programme began and there is always an invitation to play and create during the call, for example to bring things from nature to support the learning. Nicki creates an atmosphere which is fun and informal but quietly very strongly held. The first part of each session gave us time to share our learning from and reflect on the homework, this really extended our connections as a group. For me personally it was a great opportunity to meet a group of people I would have never have met had we not been using zoom. I live in a remote location and this course is helping me build a strong new network. Between the sessions we were given homework, this always prompted us to use a wide variety of methods of learning: engaging with nature, thought provoking worksheets, creative challenges and a brilliant resource list.
It was open to each of us as individuals as to which parts of the homework we dived into (and how deep), a true invitation to learn, understanding of different learning methods, and individual circumstances. I particularly enjoyed the ‘Lessons from nature’ worksheets, which describe a simple nugget about nature, for example what lichen is, with a thought-provoking question about how this example from nature might apply to our leadership. I also enjoyed the ‘nature solo’s’. I spend a lot of time in nature; indeed, it is at the heart of my work, but this was a new and deeper experience that I am already actively building into my work routine. I found the buddying (one to one calls initiated by Nicki) between the sessions really helpful. I got to know the other women on the course in more depth, we all came from a wide variety of backgrounds and yet our experiences of the course really resonated.
Nicki is passionate about learning, her approach is one of reciprocal learning, she is a natural leader and learner. This enables her to truly empower people in their own understanding of leadership. She is fun and big hearted to be with. She was great at staying in touch between the sessions through message conversations.
Nicki’s style is brilliantly complimented by the one-to-one coaching sessions with Penny. Penny sends a bag of beads to each of us and uses her Bead Trail coaching method. I love this, its very intuitive and helps unlock stuck thoughts and behaviour patterns in a gentle way. Penny is great at asking questions which really made me think, and she reflected back my issues clearly which helped me discover the way forward for myself. Her techniques are clear, simple, and very effective. I will always treasure my wee bag of beads.
As one of the first cohort of I am looking forward to what lies ahead, Nicki is supporting us to stay connected and build a community of Leaders for Good, we already have a book group formed and plan to meet in person when it is safe to do so. This programme has given me an amazing set of tools which I understand how to apply to my work. I have come away feeling more confident and hopeful about my work and the world beyond than I have been for quite some time. My understanding of what leadership means has completely shifted and I have a deeper understanding of how it relates to all aspects of my life.