Inspiring great leadership. Everywhere.


Inspiring great leadership. Everywhere. What’s not to love about this mission? On Friday 17 November 23 the Institute of Leadership put this mission into effect when they hosted their first Leadership Awards at the Hilton London Bankside in London. All the great photos are from Jas Sansi Photography.

The Institute of Leadership wanted to pay tribute to extraordinary organisations and individuals personifying the genuine spirit of inspirational leadership at every level. They had the following organisational awards:

  • Supporting Young Leaders: winner – Samsung Electronics UK
  • Employee Wellbeing Award: winner – Acacium Group and Housing 21
  • Organisational Agility Award: winner – Acacium Group
  • Digital Leaders Award: winner – NHS Worchester Acute Hospital NHS Trust (WAHT ICCA Project Team)
  • Most innovative Institute approved programme Award: winner – Future Talent Learning
  • The Leadership Excellence Award: winner – North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare Trust

They also had the individual awards:

  • Emerging Young Leader Award: winner – Gabriela Barzyk
  • Institute Advocate of the Year Award: winner – Michael Flaherty
  • The Leadership Excellence Award: winner – Graeme Jackson
  • Leadership Book of the Year – Author: winner – John Sills

What I love about my work is that I get to create clear thinking and decisive leaders, across all types of organisations and with all types of people. I am passionate for this work and have an insatiable curiosity that leads me into seeking new and better ways to challenge myself and my thinking. Therefore aligning myself with the Institute of Leadership’s mission was easy.

Inspiring great leadership. Everywhere.

Amen to that!

Judith Germain – Finalist for The Leadership Excellence Award

It was with great trepidation then that I attended the Awards Ceremony having been made a Finalist in the Leadership Excellence Category. Whilst I eventually lost out to Graeme Jackson from The Civil Service College, Cayman Islands Government, I had a fabulous time mingling with the other Finalists, Winners and their guests. The Institute of Leadership has a vibe that is unique, with the ability for creating events that truly inspire, include and invigorates you. I’ve never had as much fun losing!

What made the event so special?

It was well organised, with CEO John Mark Williams proving to be a great MC, natural networker and good dancer (!)

John Mark Williams, MC, Karen Usmani and Rebecca Martin, organisers of the Award Ceremony and The Institute of Leadership Team

The vibe was relaxed, invigorating and fun. There were plenty of great people to talk to, who have interesting roles, missions and plans. The event began with a drinks reception giving us a chance to soak up the expectant atmosphere, network and have a pre dinner drink.

Following our first foray into networking we responded to the call to our 3 course dining experience. Dinner was Bankside gin cured salmon, pink grapefruit, dill and lemon gel, cucumber, creme fraiche & Avruga caviar. Followed by rump of lamb, spinach, roasted carrots & truffle mousseline. Then to finish mandarin & chocolate slice. Delicious.

Leah Brooks and Judith Germain

Then there was the award ceremony followed by more conversation on different tables and more relaxed networking! Johann Malawana, Trustee, proved to be an excellent networker, regaling me with fun stories, intense listening and connecting me to the right person at the right time. John Mark Williams was an excellent host, spending time with almost every guest that attended.

I met so many interesting people that I can’t mention them all. However special mention must go to:

  • Chris Allen, Chief Change Officer at MONTROC, who I engaged with delightful conversation on the world of change and Mavericks, and
  • Johann Malawana who introduced us. Besides being a great dancer, Johann is fascinating and impossible to forget.
  • Jon Everett, MD of Loadpoint Ltd, where we discussed leadership, swapped stories and commented on the complex world around us.
  • Michaela Anaka, Director of My Home Ltd and her husband, were a hoot, lots of giggles and conversation.
  • Dame Neslyn Watson-Druee MD of Beacon Organisational Development Ltd. She was also a Finalist for the Leadership Excellence Award, it was great to finally meet in person; I had previously guested on a podcast that she was involved with. Neslyn gathered me towards her during the drinks reception and graciously introduced me to her friends and colleagues. Such an interesting group of women that I hope to stay in touch with.
  • Leah Brooks COO of Future Frontline, we had an interesting discussion on medicine, psychiatry and technology.
  • Andrew Kincaid, Sales Development Manager at CBRE and Trustee at the Institute of Leadership, engaged with me in an intriguing conversation on change management and culture.

It was a night of catching up with:

  • Michael Tabirade, Coach and Trustee of The Institute of Leadership. Always great conversations and he must win the award for never leaving the dance floor!
  • Dr Maria Katsarou-Makin MD of Leadership Mavericks Ltd, lots of giggles and talk about Mavericks.
  • Sally Percy Freelance Journalist, and writer for The Maverick Paradox Magazine, (article to be published soon) catching up is always fun – so much to talk about!
  • Jack Smith, Logistics Team Leader from Agilitas IT Solutions Ltd, was a delight. Jack recently joined me as a guest on The Maverick Paradox Podcast. He introduced me to John Street, Ops Director, also from Agilitas. We had a fun conversation.

Then from 10.30pm to just after midnight was the live entertainment. Where there was a steady stream of dancers enjoying the music. I must admit that I took a turn on the dance floor too!

All in all, it was a fantastic, fun and inspiring night.

Inspiring Leadership. Everywhere. Enough said.