Our FLS philosophy on developing leader capabilities is demonstrated in the current programme we have designed and are running for the Academy at Saracens RFC, which features in a recent edition of Training Journal (www.trainingjournal.com; 'news' 17 August).

Put together and directed by Vic Luck, the programme features:

1. A series of practical projects in the workplace, putting into action a personalised leader development plan based on better self awareness of personal impact on others. This reflects our belief that the best way to accelerate the development of leader skills is focused practice in everyday situations

2. Spread over 5 months, these projects are initiated in 4 half-day workshops that facilitate learning about the leadership process and various core skills like communications, decision-making under pressure etc. The role of FLS is to direct these interventions but not to provide them all; we have included other leadership experts to contribute to the programme

3. 17 Academy players are joined on the programme by 9 executives from club partner wealth management business Sanlam, and one workshop also involves working with Sandhurst cadets. As with our workshops held for senior performance executives in NGBs and elite clubs, we are keen to exploit the learning across sport, business and the military

4. Key to the success of this type of programme is the support of club management, and accordingly the Academy manager, Don Barrell is participating in the programme along with four coaches, who encourage players to practice their leader skills alongside their rugby skills

5. And in keeping with our mission to develop leadership THROUGH sport, the aim of the programme is both to yield immediate performance improvements by the individuals and for their teams AND to lay the foundations for successful careers after rugby



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