Leadership: The secrets of the master class: The seminar where tomorrow's chief executives learn from today's bosses

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The Independent Online
'THE business climate of the future is challenging and exciting and the scale of the chief executive's role has grown enormously,' says Dena Michelli, who is organising a Leaders' Seminar, starting today, for top executives and those who will be part of the next generation of business leaders.

About 20 high-flyers, all in leading roles, including some in the No 2 job, will be at Stratford-upon-Avon for a week of practitioner-based learning or masterclasses by chief executives of successful organisations. This is complemented by teaching and development input from academics and consultants. The Institute of Management is running the event.

Speakers include Sir Adrian Cadbury, former chairman of Cadbury Schweppes; Richard Wells, Chief Constable of South Yorkshire; Graham Hearne, head of Enterprise Oil; Paula Kahn, head of the Longman Group; Sipko Huismans, chief executive of Courtaulds, and Sir Bob Reid, chairman of British Rail, who is guest speaker at the final dinner.

After a talk on their business environment, its challenges and future possibilities, and their own ideas and perceptions, each will answer questions and take part in a discussion with delegates, enabling them to understand better what the top job involves.

Ms Michelli, who is head of IM's senior management programmes, said: 'The seminar has become more developmental, feeding ideas and stimulating thoughts.

'In addition, participants build a life-long network of contacts. Before leaving, they draw up an action plan and ask each other to hold them to it - 'Phone me in a year and see if I've done this.'

'Delegates are very focused, very bright; all are in leadership roles. They are the future managing directors and chief executives and they want to learn, for example, how to give good presentations and present themselves confidently and competently. A company's reputation can rise or fall on the image of its leaders.'

As well as the masterclasses and teaching, the intensive programme includes group work, plenary discussions and delegates' case studies. The cost is pounds 2,750 plus VAT, including accommodation, meals and materials.

A few women attend. Those whose companies will not send them sometimes take a week out of their holiday and may occasionally receive concessionary rates.

Among benefits to be derived from the seminar, the IM lists the following: ability to develop the role of transformational leader, resolve strategic issues, learn new approaches to change and acquire a global perspective.

(Photograph omitted)

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