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"Rubbing shoulders with like-minded people"

6th June 2016

Gold Level members of the Business Development Programme gathered at the Oxford Belfry Hotel for two days of business building on Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th May. The event also encorporated our 35th Birthday Party.

After a welcome from Managing Director, Mark Franklin, day one began with ice breakers and then the group was split into two and given the task of looking at different challenges around team maintenance and supporting new Leaders.

The afternoon included a wonderful presentation about the value and importance of Usborne books in children's lives by Publishing Director, Jenny Tyler. A real highlight of the event! Finally, Executive Leader, Maria Scrivens took part in 'Question Time' - giving all attendees a chance to ask her questions about all aspects of her business.

The next day, Shelley Rostlund from Social Intelligence gave a brilliant presentation on 'Building your Digital Marketing Strategy'. The afternoon consisted of a 'speed recruiting' exercise and then the group was once again split into two to look at effective time management and how to improve success by using and promoting the Quickstart Programme.

Finally, our Business & Leadership Development Manager, Sue Bennetts led a recap on goals and confidence before the journey home.

A Leader's experience...

Susan Jane Alexiadis shares her thoughts on the jam-packed training days:

"Wild horses couldn't have held me back from attending my very first Usborne Leadership Academy. Since I had never intended to recruit (or even venture beyond selling in more than one school), I assumed it would be the first and last time I made it into Gold level of the Business Development Programme. The funny thing is, that by the end of the two days, I was fairly sure that I would be back again. It is strange what an effect two days of rubbing shoulders with "like-minded people" can have upon a person! 

Apart from meeting Peter Usborne and Jenny Tyler, who exceeded all expectations, the biggest highlight was having so much time with my wonderful Mentor. Being able to pick her brains night and day was such a treat! I also benefited greatly from hearing how other new team leaders are faring. It was such a comfort to know that I am not alone in the challenges I face. Meeting the more experienced Team Leaders was also a great way to gain new perspectives on many aspects of my business. 

The coaching and time-management sessions felt like they were tailor-made for me. These are two areas that I really needed to work on and I came away feeling empowered with new ideas and strategies. The challenge is now implementing these changes... and so far, so good! Working closely with my Mentor will no doubt help me to make lasting progress.

The session on 'FAB selling' with Sue Bennetts really was fabulous (a technique where you look at the Features, Advantages and Benefits of a book). Having been of the opinion that "Usborne books sell themselves", I had never bothered much with any kind of selling techniques. The concepts of 'cross-selling' and 'up-selling' were completely foreign to me. They are so utterly useful though, and make real sense. I have already spent some time with my team doing the FAB selling exercise from Leadership Academy. Thanks Usborne for making things so copiable! 

And thank you for treating me like royalty for two days. It is a style to which I could quite easily become accustomed! The hotel was fabulous, the food sensational and the atmosphere was one of friendship and fun. That's not to say that I didn't have my comfort zone stretched. I certainly did. Three words: Social Media Marketing

I left the Leadership Academy with a bigger goal than when I came. I was filled with confidence that I can achieve what I have set out to do, and even more! My Usborne journey has just begun. I certainly hope to add a few more Leadership Academies along the way."

Thank you so much for sharing, Susan!

Fancy joining us next season?

Tags:meetings and events