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16 June, 2015 - 17:15 By Kate Sweeney

Business leaders inspire next generation

practical leadership symposium vat the Moller Centre in Cambridge

CEOs and senior leaders from world-class East of England and UK companies marked the expansion of The Møller Centre in Cambridge by attending a practical leadership symposium.

Twenty-six executives from UK companies including local businesses Adnams, Babraham Bioscience Technologies, Bidwells, Dixons Carphone, Daily Mail and General Trust Plc, EY, Lloyds Bank, Marshall of Cambridge, Mills & Reeve, Red Gate Software, St John’s Innovation Centre, TWI and Xaar took part.

The venture marked the official opening of The Møller Centre’s building upgrade and expansion project by Ane Mærsk Mc-Kinney Uggla, chair of The A.P. Møller and Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation Board, vice-chair of global conglomerate Mærsk and daughter of The Møller Centre’s founder, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller.

The event, in the new collaborative learning space, began with Ane Mærsk Mc-Kinney Uggla delivering an inspirational keynote explaining the importance of core values in supporting leaders and global organisations to adapt and thrive in the 21st Century.

The leadership symposium formed part of Churchill 2015 Global Leaders Programme - a unique international celebration of the life and legacy of Sir Winston Churchill50 years after his death – and was the second of three events being held at Churchill College this year.

Gillian Secrett, CEO of The Møller Centre and Fellow at Churchill College explained: “Our practical leadership symposium was inspired by the unique connection between two great leaders, Sir Winston Churchill, and Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller whose vision and benefaction created The Møller Centre at Churchill College.

“They continue to provide the context and inspiration for the leadership development we deliver and indeed our vision and values. We wanted to mark the opening of our new collaborative learning space with a leadership focus that embodied Sir Winston Churchill’s vision for how higher education can benefit society whilst highlighting Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller’s vison for the Møller Centre of bringing together academia and business for executive and professional education and development.

“I am pleased to say that thanks to the energetic and passionate contributions from a very impressive group of CEOs and senior leaders, who generously and candidly shared their personal experience and wisdom, we achieved our aims of exploring the key issues impacting on leadership in the 21st Century. 

“These included the essential capabilities and behaviours leaders require, daily habits of successful leaders and what today’s leaders are doing practically to develop future leaders. 

“To conclude the event  each leader wrote a personal message  outlining two pieces of advice which will be passed on directly to those young leaders selected to attend the Next Generation Leadership Development Programme which we are co-creating and delivering at The Møller Centre in conjunction with Learn to Lead, the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and the British Council.

“I will also use the material to create a report entitled ‘Practical Leadership:  Capabilities and behaviour to adapt and thrive in the 21st Century’  which will form a chapter in the Churchill 2015 Global Leaders’ digital publication.”

Derek Jones, chief executive of Babraham Bioscience Technologies added: “It was great to hear from Ane Mærsk Mc-Kinney Uggla how the set of core values upon which Maersk was founded – constant care; humbleness; uprightness; employees and name – are used in practice on a daily basis and have sustained the culture and success of an organisation over a long period.

“The features of great leadership are constant even in the fast changing world in which we live. It was interesting to hear how other organisations work to ensure that leaders are identified and encouraged to help guide them through the uncertainties of the future.”

The insights from the Practical Leadership Symposium will feed into a Young Leaders Programme which the centre is co-creating with Learn to Lead, the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and the British Council. 

The Møller Centre is investing in 20 outstanding 19-25 year olds who will join a unique ‘Next Generation Leaders Development Programme’ to equip them with the skills to be tomorrow’s game-changers. It will offer successful applicants access to a rare network of change-makers and provide skills-building workshops aimed at improving leadership competence and personal effectiveness and impact to prepare them to become tomorrow’s leaders. 

Civil rights icon, Baroness Doreen Lawrence and Sir Clive Woodward, Rugby World Cup-winning head coach, are among an elite group of contributors to the young leaders programme.

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Gillian Secrett (left) with Ane Mærsk Mc-Kinney Uggla

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