We asked Amina Lunat, a previous Aspiring Leaders learner, to share her experience on the Aspiring Leaders Programme and what she learnt. 
When I first came across the Aspiring Leaders programme offered by Leading in Leicester, I was intrigued. I wanted to take the next step in my career and become a leader, but I felt my lack of confidence was holding me back. I wanted to grow both personally and professionally and the programme seemed like the perfect opportunity to help with that, so I decided to give it a try. 
From the very first workshop, I arrived, I felt comfortable and at ease. The programme wasn’t like typical training programmes where you sit and listen to a speaker for hours on end. Instead, the trainer created an environment that encouraged conversation and collaboration. 
I was blown away by what we were learning and level of expertise and support from our trainer Jacqui. We went through what it is to be a leader vs being a manager and set some personal goals we wanted to achieve for our development. 
I found the programme to be incredibly valuable. The workshops were well-structured and informative, covering a range of topics from communication and delegation to strategic planning and decision-making, all of which have proved to be essential in my role as a project manager. The coaching sessions were also incredibly helpful, providing me with personalised feedback and guidance on how to improve my leadership skills and my project. 
The programme really dug deep to help us be self-aware of ourselves as leaders. One of the key takeaways from the programme was understanding the elements of a resilient leader. We discussed our leadership presence, and importance of self-awareness, which I found to be invaluable. Understanding who I am and what I do has allowed me to recognise my strengths and weaknesses as a leader. 
Attending the workshops was a refreshing change from the standard training programme that only focuses on the technical skills required to be a leader. I have learnt many theories such as change curve, ADKAR model, holding difficult conversation and much more. I have been able to apply the theories to my own leadership role and have seen significant improvements in my ability to lead and inspire my team. 
“The most valuable aspect of the programme was the opportunity to network with other aspiring leaders.” 
Jacqui’s wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of leadership was truly impressive. She was able to provide us with valuable insights and practical strategies that we could immediately apply to our own leadership roles. Her presentation style was engaging and informative, and I really enjoyed attending her workshops. 
What I appreciated most about Jacqui was her ability to connect with the group and make us feel comfortable sharing our own experiences and perspectives. She created a supportive environment where everyone felt heard and valued and encouraged us to challenge ourselves and think outside the box. 
But perhaps the most valuable aspect of the programme was the opportunity to network with other aspiring leaders. I met so many talented and ambitious individuals through the programme, and it was inspiring to see how they were all working to improve their skills and achieve their goals. It was also helpful to have a community of people who understood the challenges and opportunities of leadership in VCSE sector, and who could offer support and advice as needed. 
Since completing the course, I have noticed significant improvements in my leadership abilities. I feel more confident in my decision-making and communication skills, and I have a better understanding of how to motivate and manage my team effectively. As a project manager, I am constantly using the skills I learned through the Aspiring Leaders programme. It has given me the confidence to take on more senior roles and has provided me with the tools and skills necessary to succeed in my role. The programme has helped me become a better communicator, a more strategic thinker, and a more effective leader. 
I would highly recommend this leadership course to anyone who is looking to develop their leadership skills and take their career to the next level. It has been a truly transformative experience for me, and I am excited to continue applying what I have learned in my professional life. 
Tagged as: Aspiring Leaders
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