Leadership Groups and Fairy Godmothers?

Before I start, I write from a little experience. I had a place on the Agri Academy Rural Leadership programme in pre-Covid times, It is the best thing I have done. Brilliant for personal development, meeting new people and learning new things. I cannot recommend leadership development enough.

What I took from the programme included: Confirmation of my beliefs and what is important to me, a network of people from the programme, and speakers who came to meet with us, confidence (sounds so simple but it holds so many people back) and knowledge. Our facilitator, Olwen Thomas is an incredible woman, and I learnt so much from her during our time as a group.

Now it is my time to give back, and this is a shameless plug as I have been fortunate to have the role of facilitating the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show Rural Leadership Programme last year, and the year ahead. This comes with great honour, but also great responsibility.

Why don’t you apply? It is very easy to sit back and watch. It is fun sometimes, I enjoy a bit of people watching, but it is easy. What isn’t as easy is putting yourself forward. Putting your head above the parapet as it were.

Would you consider applying for a leadership programme? Or would the doubts creep in? Voices in your mind might say Why would you do this? Who do you think you are to put yourself forward as a leader? This is normal when you think of doing something different or new. The difference is that it excites some people and terrifies others.

I am probably a bit in between – not always that phased, but I do really want to do things well so I am a combination of excited and terrified most of the time!

My guess is, you already have an inkling as to whether or not you would like to have a go at something like this, so follow your gut! I read something which said that our gut is our fairy Godmother – I liked that. You can trust your fairy Godmother.

There are so many different leadership styles, maybe you are aware of them, maybe not – but most importantly, you may have the qualities to be a leader in your area.

Take me as an example, I am fairly quiet, and to some this means I do not have leadership qualities….I disagree. You don’t have to be the one who shouts loudest to be heard.

Is it arrogant of you to think ‘I am a leader’? Why should this be the case? It doesn’t mean that you think you know everything, it isn’t arrogant, it is being yourself, and taking others on a journey with you. It can also be about getting somebody from where they are, to where they are destined to be.

To those who sit and judge, don’t, get yourself involved instead. You might just surprise yourself and enjoy it, even find your calling.

I know some will judge me, for writing a blog, for being a leader (I have been told I am not one) but, I know what I am not good at, I also know what I am good at, and what I enjoy. I know what drives me and how that in turn helps me drive others. My fairy Godmother is busy as I refer to my gut for most important decisions in life!

I am passionate about agriculture and food, but also developing others, giving others the opportunities I have had to develop myself. People who have given me opportunities over my career, are the ones I take inspiration from – encouraging of the next generations of leaders.

To you who are judged, have a think about it without focussing or obsessing about it. Do the people you feel are judging you matter? Do they have an effect on your life? Do they really know you and what you are doing?

Know your values and your purpose, and work to them.

  • A leader has strategy
  • A leader gets knocked off course out of the blue, and recovers
  • A leader gets things wrong, makes mistakes, but owns them
  • A leader has vision and ambition
  • A leader has empathy and understanding
  • A leader has the ability to make decisions
  • A leader doesn’t have to be loud and bossy, a leader is listened to at any volume
  • A leader is also, always learning

Writing this is timely as the RWAS Leadership application window is open now – why not apply? Whether you are a judger or a judgee (yes, I do make up words to make a point) – give it a go!

Application forms available on this link


Any questions please get in touch.

I would love to meet you and get to know about your skills and learn about what you are going to achieve personally, but for our industry too.

Alison Harvey – Agri-Supply Chain Advisor, Rural Advisor.