Management trainees from Go-Ahead London join the Territorial Army for a weekend challenge
Management Trainees Darren Barnden, Lawrie Breschinsky and Rachel Jones were pushed to their limits at Pirbright Army Training Camp last weekend when they joined 62 other aspiring managers from different companies across the Greater London area to experience a weekend of team-building, exhilaration and adventure. The three management trainees were nominated by David Cutts, Operations Director, to take part in Exercise Executive Stretch, a challenging and stimulating weekend of personal development and leadership training run by the Volunteer Reserve Forces, designed to test the capabilities of employees with senior management potential.
Not for the faint-hearted, Exercise Executive Stretch which is open to young men and women aged between 20-40 years old, uses techniques from proven military programmes to develop the leadership skills of junior and middle managers or anyone required to make decisions, communicate instructions or motivate teams.
The course consists of a series of challenges which must be completed in teams. Leadership and communication skills, initiative, lateral thinking, problem solving and teamwork are all tested in the accomplishment of each task. The course has been accredited with the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) for a Level 4 Award in Leadership.
Under the watchful eye of Territorial Army and Royal Yeomanry officers and soldiers from TA Units across Greater London, the participants were set a series of team challenges. Their fitness levels, confidence and stamina were certainly put to the test as they tackled a series of “stands” including the extremely physically demanding army assault course; a night patrol and night “in the field” where they cooked their own rations and constructed their own “bashers” – night shelters; a map based planning exercise involving weather emergency in Birmingham which involved planning on how to assist local emergency services including the NHS; and a series of command tasks similar in format to those used by selection boards to evaluate potential officers. Each of the tasks were designed to question and develop problem solving skills, giving the participants the chance to experience first-hand the roles and training programmes that today’s Reservists are exposed to both here in the UK and abroad.
Rachel Jones thoroughly enjoyed participating on the course. She said “Before we came I really thought I was going to hate it but it’s actually been a very worthwhile experience. In fact, I’ve found a whole level of motivation I didn’t know I had.“ Lawrie Breschinsky said “Maintaining energy levels during Friday night’s patrol was very tough but the command tasks were really brilliant”.
Trevor Johnson, General Manager and a Management Trainee Mentor said “The team seemed to have really enjoyed the experience. It was a challenge as all three have just started Management level courses at Go-Ahead, and it will be interesting to find out if the exercise has helped them get onto the first rung. The thing I like about this course is that it has taken my team out of their comfort zone and I am sure it will help with their development as managers”.