Observations: Clore Leadership Programme provides a step up for future Royal Ballet supremos

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The Independent Culture

How do you become the next Sir Nicholas Serota or Dame Monica Mason? For people trying to follow in the footsteps of the Tate and Royal Ballet supremos, attending the Clore Leadership Programme is the answer. Nineteen lucky Fellows have been chosen out of 70 applicants to work this year's programme, which strengthens leadership qualities across the arts and heritage fields.

It was founded in 2003, and so far 156 cultural leaders from the UK and abroad have walked through its doors and on to better jobs, including Gavin Reid, previously a trumpet player, who since undertaking the programme is now Director of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Other luminaries include Axel Ruger, formerly Curator of Dutch Paintings for the National Gallery, who has made the leap to Director of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam while Moira Sinclair, previously Director of Vital Arts, an arts and health initiative, is now Executive Director, Arts Council London.

The year-long programme involves two fortnight-long residential courses in Kent, work placements and mentoring to help develop your leadership skills. Sir John Tusa, Chair of the Clore Leadership Programme, says: "We pick people who are ready to develop and grow. They must be imaginative and brave enough to trust their instincts in order to be pioneers. This is not a business-school qualification. It is about learning about oneself intensely."

Among the new Fellows are Dorcas Walters, formerly Principal Dancer with Sadler's Wells, Gill Hart, Outreach and Access Officer at the Fitzwilliam Museum and Christopher Stafford, Projects and Development Manager at Shakespeare's Globe.