If someone had asked me twelve months ago if I thought I was a leader, or if I thought I had the skills, knowledge and belief to be a leader, I’d have answered both questions with a straight forward ‘no’. I would say I was a confident person, and my parents (and some friends!) may have described me as bossy at times, but I personally wouldn’t have given myself the credit to describing myself as a leader. That all changed when I spent 48 hours at the 2014 LEAP academy last August.
I remember discussing LEAP with Ben Hawley, and Tracy Anderson, JCI Barnsley’s then President and Deputy President after a training session or council meeting about this time last year. I forget which, but it was in the bar of the Holiday Inn, so could have been either as we usually end up in there! We had been talking about how much I would get out of it, how I would benefit from it, and perhaps how it would open my eyes to my options to progressing within JCI. They were keen for me to go, and so (with the little internet signal we get in that bar), I booked on that same evening.
It was a 48 hour experience I will never forget. It was exhausting, both from lack of sleep and from the sheer amount of training that got packed into the weekend, but it was inspiring and generally a blooming good weekend from start to finish. I not only came away full of skills and knowledge from the training sessions, but also a whole new bunch of JCI contacts, who each were an inspiration through the weekend.
Fast track twelve months and here I am, JCI Barnsley 2015 Deputy President, and a trainee conveyancer. I attribute both the progression in JCI and the progression in my professional life to attending LEAP. I think it was always destined that, at some point in my JCI career, I would become a President of JCI Barnsley – it’s in my blood – but I don’t think anyone thought it would happen so soon. Without attending LEAP and having the camaraderie of the other delegates and the trainers alike, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to go for it.
JCI offer huge numbers of opportunities for members in all areas of opportunity and at all levels of the organisation. LEAP is one of those opportunities. There are still places available to attend LEAP this year and I cannot recommend it highly enough!
JCI Barnsley 2015 Deputy President
JCI UK 2014 LEAP Graduate
JCI UK 2015 LEAP COC member
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by James Lambert