Developing people to deliver business performance

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Leigh Pope

Univar Solutions - Level 5 Operations/Departmental Manager Apprenticeship

Introduction

Leigh Pope is a Sales Manager for Univar Solutions. “I manage a team of 9 individuals covering a range of functions including Internal and External Account Manager, Technical Sales Managers and a Project Manager responsible for the implementation of service-based initiatives.” He recently enrolled onto our Level 5 Operations/Departmental Manager Apprenticeship and shares his experience with us.

Impact

Discussing what Leigh has learnt on the duration of this Apprenticeship, he commented “One of the initial takeaways from the programme and something that has continued to have the biggest impact on me is my awareness of my daily activity.”

“Prior to the course we completed an EQi questionnaire to evaluate our Emotional Intelligence. This highlighted that I have a good understanding of my own strengths/weakness and am comfortable expressing my personal feelings and opinions in most situations.”

Leigh went on to explain, “I believe this is something I was already aware of and always took pride in, however, in addition to a couple of other traits highlighted I understand these can create problems as a leader. The report shows I express low levels of empathy and emotional self-awareness linked to which I now understand that my reactions can have an adverse impact on my team and colleagues.”

Using the EQi questionnaire tool, Leigh says he is making changes to improve himself as a leader. “In line with this I am continuing to work to improve my initial reaction and tailor it to the audience I am with. Being able to apply this skill is about being conscious of my body language and thinking about what I’m going to say and the way I’m going to say it before I jump into a conversation.”

Leigh has found tools such as, PEST and SWOT analysis to have a positive impact on his delegation skills. “I have seen delegation benefit me and the wider business in a number of ways but the main benefit I am seeing, other that managing my time better, is the personal development of 2 high performing colleagues.”

Leigh explains the importance of understanding and comparing Behavioural Styles. He says, “This is not only making them better at their own role but helping create a succession plan for the business.”

“I understand that some of my most difficult relationships have been with amiable colleagues who are very cautious in their approach to change and understanding these differences has enabled me to work better with different individuals being aware of where attention is needed to ensure we find common ground.”

Line Manager Feedback

We also spoke to Leigh Pope’s line manager, Mark Mongan. We asked him about any positive changes he had seen in Leigh after completing the apprenticeship and he said, “I have seen Leigh’s leadership style change throughout the course, he is far more flexible to situations and how to deal with people since he started the course. He shows higher levels of empathy and has more self-belief in his own ability – this has had a hugely positive impact on his team and our business.”

“I have seen delegation benefit me and the wider business in a number of ways but the main benefit I am seeing, other that managing my time better, is the personal development of 2 high performing colleagues.”

Leigh Pope, Sales Manager for Univar Solutions

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