An Apprentice’s View…

Robert Ellam

I’ve been doing the Public Management and Leadership apprenticeship course for around six months now, and it’s going well so far (I think).  It’s not easy, but perhaps that’s a good sign!

I’ve been a manager for a little over four years, and a leader for far longer than that (yep, it’s not just managers who are leaders).  I’ve found that moving in and out of a leadership role has suited my natural style well – I’m quite prepared to lead when I see that it’s needed, but equally I’m happy to let people get on with it where leadership isn’t needed, or when there is good enough leadership in place, and I rarely solve people’s problems for them either as a leader or a manager.

When I first joined Suffolk County Council, I was fairly sure that I would have to become a manager at some point – having seen various managers and leaders who I thought did it poorly, I was determined to try to get it right.  While I’m not sure I’ve always managed to get it right (boom boom), I’ve tried to learn from those failures.

Because of this, I started taking careful notice of good and inspirational leaders and managers whose approach I saw something good in, and who I thought I could learn something from. I was probably doing it before joining the council, but that was the first time I’d started doing it consciously.

The opportunity to do the apprenticeship came at an opportune time when I was thinking about the next step in my career, and I was really keen to have the dedicated space it provides to understand why I and others lead as we do, see other ways of leading, and think about what I can improve on in my practice.

Robert EllamRobert Ellam is a Business Intelligence Manager at Suffolk County Council and an apprentice on our Public Management and Leadership Programme.

Want to learn more? Tomorrow, Thursday 7 March at 12 noon, we are hosting a live webinar to outline the programme in more detail. Click here to sign up.

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