February's Leadership Academy Reviewed
7th March 2018
On Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd February, 84? Leaders joined the Usborne Books at Home team for a busy two days at the fabulous Heythrop Park Hotel in Oxfordshire.
Our two days started with a bang, with a lively workshop presented by Nigel Percy from the 'Art of Brilliance', aptly named 'Mojo - A User's Guide'. MOJO stands for Motivation, Orientation, Juice and Outcome, and perhaps Juice was the most significant of these. Nigel focused on how positive thinking and mindset were key to success, and how changing the way you looked at your life and your business could change the level of success that you had with both. Nigel also talked about the top six motivators that had been identified by researchers (sense of achievement, recognition, the work itself, responsibility, advancement, salary), and how a sense of achievement is always considered to be the greatest. Different people are motivated by different things, and knowing the motivation of yourself and your recruits is key to driving your Usborne business forward.
After an enjoyable lunch, our Leaders spent their afternoon getting to know each other and themselves better, and focusing on how to improve their eight qualities of 'Your Usborne You' to build a stronger business. Our Leaders ended their day on a high, confident in new ways that they could push their business forward.
Our evening started with a well-deserved champagne reception, and a celebration of our Leaders who will be heading 'Up, Up and Away' to India in April! This was followed by a speech from our Managing Director, Mark Franklin about the expansion of Usborne Books at Home, and the incredible success of our Organisers in 2018. Without the hardwork and determination of our Organisers, the business would not be expanding so rapidly, and we owe our success to every one of our 5,500 plus Organisers who are writing a better story for their family every day.
The evening continued with a delicious three course meal and wine, and lots of lively discussions amongst our Leaders. Alongside Head Office staff, some of our first-time travel winners hosted tables, enabling Leaders to ask them for advice on how they achieved this incredible prize, and to get some top tips to get themselves on the plane to St Petersburg in 2019.
The Marketing Team have been having a major focus on schools recently, and our second day started with Senior Marketing Co-ordinator, Susannah Hobbs, sharing that in the UK alone only 2% of all schools are served by an Usborne Organiser. Susannah then gave an introduction to all the new resources available to support the schools section of your business. These included redesigned RSL and RSR resources, including those designed to suit secondary schools, a new monthly blog 'Picks for Schools' promoting that month's new titles specific to schools, and resources that can be given to teachers, including teacher notes for modern classics books, a seasonal fiction guide, and activities for Key Stages 1-3.
We then heard from Vikki MacDonald and Beth O'Donovan who shared with us how having a strong schools strategy had enabled them to build successful businesses. Leaders then discussed their own school strategies, and how they could use the new resources to engage more schools with their business, and how they could help to develop a sense of confidence in their teams about working with schools.
An Usborne business has two strands to it - selling books, and sharing the opportunity with others. In our Recruit, Train and Retain session we focused on the latter. Leaders were each given a different focus point to discuss their strategies for recruiting, training their recruits, and retaining them after the Quickstart period has ended. A common theme recurred across all three areas - the need to tailor your support to the type of business that your recruit wants to build.
Our day finished with a final mentoring session, focusing on the biggest challenge that our Leaders felt they faced in their businesses, and how to develop strategies to overcome these challenges.
Here are some of our favourite quotes from our Leaders about the event:
'Attending my first Leadership Academy was by far one of the most nerve wracking and best things I have done for myself and my business. Meeting other leaders was so inspiring and I loved learning how to put processes in place to move my business forward effectively. The coaching section was incredibly powerful for me and taught me so much about myself as well as how to work on my own coaching skills. The workshop with Nigel Percy abou MOJO was just what I needed to hear and I am now definitely working from a ten!' - Caroline Armstrong, Established Gold Leader
'My time at Leadership Academy was invaluable in my Usborne journey so far. The two days were packed with inspiration, in a room full of like-minded Organisers. I can't wait to go back in the near future!' - Kirsty Lee Walker, New Gold Leader
'As always, Leadership Academy was a welcome break from the 'everyday', and a chance to focus and spend time on both my business and own personal development. Everyone is always so open and happy to share ideas, and I came home once again buzzing with the ideas and confidence to move my business forward.' - Jo Coles, Silver Leader