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Victoria Stevens ACR

Victoria Stevens Library and Archive Conservation
Undertook Leadership Launchpad, an online training and coaching programme

The focus and control that the Leadership Launchpad encouraged me to regain through a firmer understanding of what I was trying to achieve in my business developed over what turned out to be an incredibly difficult year. The monthly programme of coaching and reflection sessions allowed me to see from above some of the areas where I can make changes in my approach and priority setting to enable me to achieve my goals whilst not losing sight of the principles that I want to adhere to for the business. An early exercise was setting a mission statement, and from this a shorter belief statement which was condensed into the three-word tag line of Generosity, Engagement and Efficiency. These three words have been my focus throughout the year, working on the tools and structures that will enable me to implement them throughout my business.

I realised during the sessions that one of my main skill areas was communication of ideas and advice with enthusiasm, accessibility and positivity. Although I had never appreciated it before, my clients and colleagues really value my skills in this area and it is an aspect of my business that I enjoy greatly. This has resulted in a new non-profit engagement initiative to provide tactile educational and training services for people who have barriers to learning by visual means alone or who are excluded from heritage access by circumstances or opportunity.

Meeting each month to reflect on examples from my own business as well as learn from the experiences of what proved to be a strong and supportive cohort was incredibly helpful, particularly during lockdown. The constant encouragement and confidential safety of the group was extremely beneficial, and we all developed a close bond of mutual trust and support.

Thank you to the Anna Plowden Trust for enabling me to undertake this transformative experience, and for giving me the funds to take my business under control and to the next stage of its development. I still have some way to go, but the Leadership Launchpad has given me the strong foundations on which to build future success.