The Exeter Leadership Partners

A fundamental aim of the Business School is to unlock the leadership potential of individuals and organisations. We seek to achieve this is in a number of ways, one of which is the cross fertilisation of ideas, approaches and resolutions to critical issues across organisations in a true partnership style.

Central to achieving this aim is the ‘Exeter Leadership Partners’ (ELP) scheme which has been running successfully for 14 years and which is designed to:

  • Provide an environment in which organisations from different sectors come together to explore new ideas in leadership
  • Enable conversations that cannot be held elsewhere, based on high-trust relationships
  • Develop innovative approaches to the exploration and resolution of leadership dilemmas, leveraging the considerable resources and huge experience of the Centre for Leadership Studies (CLS) and the Business School for the benefit of our Partners
  • Create and nurture a unique approach to leadership development directed at individuals with critical talent on the threshold of strategic leadership. We do this by developing the competence and confidence in individuals to move across this threshold.

How the Partnership operates

We work with the senior executives responsible for the strategic leadership development of their organisations and help with the management of the process to:

  • Assist their thinking on the wider aspects of leadership development
  • Achieve cross fertilisation of ideas between Partners and the CLS and across Partners
  • Co-design the whole Partnership arrangement
  • Provide the opportunity to work with one of the Fellows from the CLS acting in a ‘Critical Friend’ capacity.

The Partnership includes organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors and is designed to help them improve their organisational and individual strategic leadership capability.  It covers a range of leadership activities which are developed jointly by Exeter and the Partners.  The ELP scheme offers two options: Partnership and Partnership Plus.

1.  Partnership

Partners benefit from a close relationship with both Exeter and other organisations who are dedicated to improving their understanding of the complexities and realities of Strategic Leadership.  Membership of the Partnership is on a corporate basis in order to improve the strategic leadership thinking of the organisation.  Thus it is ‘the organisation’ that joins, and then nominates one or two individuals to participate in the following activities: 

  • A series of explorative ‘Chatham House’ leadership events with renowned national and international leaders and academics
  • The development of an extensive network of leaders at similar levels in dissimilar organisations in a trusted confidential peer environment
  • Insightful debates on contemporary and emerging leadership challenges with individuals at the leading edge of the next set of problems
  • Leadership exchanges – structured and facilitated visits to and from  other Partners
  • The pursuit of theoretical and practical insights into leadership dilemmas
  • Engagement with one of the CLS Leadership Fellows all of whom have extensive organisational experience and who will act as a ‘Critical Friend’
  • Facilitated workshops designed to  address the Partner’s current and pressing issues
  • Reduced fees for consultancy assistance, where this is sought
  • Invitations to CLS CPD events and research seminars.

2. Partnership Plus

CLS is able to provide a significant contribution to help organisations to improve their strategic leadership by assisting key delegates to grow into this level.  We do this by working with our Partners to identify up to three named individuals with critical talent who are operating at the threshold of strategic leadership, and who are ready for the next vital step in their leadership journey.

These selected delegates participate for a minimum of two years in a tailored programme which is guided by their ‘Critical Friend’ coach, drawn from the highly experienced CLS Leadership Fellows.  There are three face-to-face coaching meetings per year, supplemented by other communications (such as phone, email, skype etc) as required.

They are also invited to attend the activities listed above under ‘Partnership’ with the added benefit of being able to discuss what they have learnt with their Critical Friend.  This close relationship is dynamic and enables the individual to apply learning immediately, consider current challenges, and reflect on appropriate leadership styles whilst also being guided on their strategic thinking.

Current Partners

  • Fidelity Investment Management Ltd
  • Hays Recruitment
  • Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc
  • The Met Office
  • Royal Air Force (RAF)

Terms of engagement

We are keen to engage with organisations from a wide range of sectors and work with them to develop individual and organisational leadership capability. The nature of the Partnership is such that we are looking to establish a long-lasting relationship, which is what the existing Partners value so much.

Membership will be restricted to a small number of organisations drawn from across all sectors to preserve the crucial characteristics of connection and confidentiality which existing Partners have valued so highly.

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