Sir Nick Macpherson
I learnt a great deal from SLP and I’m certain it enhanced my effectiveness and confidence. Ultimately, I probably wouldn’t have made it up to Permanent Secretary if I hadn’t attended.
It came at a very useful time, helping me to consolidate and strengthen my approach to management. I’d just been promoted to DG level, running the public spending side of the Treasury, which represented a much wider and deeper leadership challenge than I’d taken on up until then, both in terms of the organisations I was having to deal with across Whitehall and the wider public sector, and in terms of the staff I was responsible for at the Treasury.
The course was designed to incorporate people at similar points of their career, but from different organisations, and it was really good to get together in a group. Initially we listened to other people but increasingly worked as a group, sharing management challenges and problems and supporting each other in solving them. The safe space created to discuss the issues and the way the process was facilitated were both critical to making it work.We’ve stuck together as a group and I still find it conducive to providing a reality check on the direction in which you’re heading. It’s also invigorating interacting with people who aren’t in your direct line of work, discussing their challenges, contributing in a small way to how they might respond. It gets things into perspective. And perspective is really important in terms of doing a job well.