Barclays sharpens staff’s leadership skills

Barclays Bank of Botswana’s marketing team has partnered with South African leadership experts, Marichen Mortimer and Associates to pilot the ‘Self Leadership for Success Programme’ which is aimed at building headship capacity among its staff.

The programme, which offers training through the emulation of horses’ traits, provides an intervention where participants explore self-leadership, personal transformation with accountability and responsibility, as well as self-management as key features of the programme.

Through the two-day training, participants were provided with skills and techniques to enable them to improve how they manage themselves on a day–to-day basis, whilst managing stress and their overall wellness constructively.

The course consisted of dialogue, reflections, interactions and experiences.

In an interview with Mmegi Business, managing director of Barclays Bank, Reinette van der Merwe said they decided to pilot the programme with her team because she wanted to see leadership development excel in Botswana.

“It really started from a personal perspective. I have been involved with horses for the last seven years,” she revealed. “I have leant more about leadership from horses than people and when I heard that there is a leadership horses training that is run in SA, I then went there and luckily my marketing team agreed to pilot the programme here.”

The MD said she was blown away with the efforts that were made during the training.

“I have seen team building with horses before, but never proper leadership course with horses. It was extremely interesting to see how someone very timid unfolds and reaches the potential by talking to the horses and take command in a positive way,” she said.

Managing director of Marichen Mortimer and Associates,  Marichen Mortimer said the training was the first of the three programmes, which include self-leadership for success, leadership for success and team development for success.

Each programme consists of one-day classroom work and another day coaching with the horses.

Participants will be exposed to self-leadership, communications skills, conflict management, and energy for success management, attitude management, stress management as well as power of choice.

Mortimer said horses are unbelievably powerful. “We are using them as a metaphor for people to actually learn their lessons because when people communicate with each other, they often have masks while horses do not have them,” she said. “They are literally in a space of honesty and open; the horse is the mirror that is held unto you.”

One of the participants, Barclays head of marketing and corporate relations, Racheal Mushaike said her team decided to pilot the programme because they believed the staff was the most important investment that any organisation could have. “I am a firm believer that if you cannot lead yourself, then you cannot lead others. This course was a defining moment for me. It gave me an opportunity to learn how I should show up in life if am going to succeed and attain my objectives,” Mushaike said.

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