The latest BOSS Leaders of the Future (LOTF) conference gathered young and budding members of our sector to mark the 10th birthday of LOTF. A sea of 75 fresh faces converged in the Kimpton Clocktower in Manchester to hear from a particularly energetic keynote speaker and immerse themselves in a series of practical workshops.
Aligned with the day’s theme – Building the best version of yourself: how to succeed while being your authentic, confident self – the workshops were a chance to put the day’s learnings to the test and explore how each strategy could be applied across diverse roles, from sales to finance and beyond.
Opening the conference, BOSS LOTF co-Chairs Rachael Lewis and Alex Stone welcomed members. As both prepare to step down from the Chair position in the early months of 2024, their buzzing personalities and passion will be sorely missed.
Keep it real
Next came the highlight of the event. Keynote speaker Lee Warren marched onto the stage, keen to keep the room engaged with his interactive session. Warren boasts several strings to his bow, including being a former sales director at various global organisations, a professional magician and mind reader, and the award-winning author of The Busy Person’s Guide to Great Presenting. His speech, aptly titled Connected, Confident and Compelling, certainly delivered in all three areas.
Warren educated attendees on the need to build a wide, mutually beneficial network without losing sight of the values that make each person unique. The key takeaway of the session was undoubtedly “ensuring you’re not just heard, you’re remembered”. Some top tips included the importance of relevance and forming engaging moments with the type of language we use.
Lewis noted: “He provided some very practical guidance to support our community with presenting, networking, and being the best, confident and authentic versions of themselves.”
It was then time for a much-needed coffee break, and with hot drinks in hand, next on stage was YPO Finance Director and first-ever female BOSS Federation Chair Julie Hawley. She spoke about her journey through the industry and the challenges a woman determined to climb the ladder may face.
Unsurprisingly, many questions arose around overcoming obstacles on the path to leadership development, which Hawley perfectly summarised: “Put the best version of yourself out there and don’t be defined by your job title.”
An appropriate addition to the day happened during lunch when LOTF members were invited to have a professional headshot taken to help them grow their personal brand within the workplace.
Choosing your own path
Continuing the theme of being your authentic self to find success, the conference included four skills workshops. Delegates could choose two from the following list:
- How to develop your personal branding – Helen Colton of PPS/inControl Marketing
- Stakeholder management: up, down and sideways – Darren Renshaw of VOW Wholesale
- Staying true to your purpose and goals versus having the agility to change direction – Peter D’Amery of Viking UK
- Resilience when managing change – Ross Jones of Reckitt
Each workshop focused on improving leadership in a different way, but the overriding theme was to realise the original factors that make us who we are. As attendees came to understand as the day closed, it’s much easier to simply be yourself long-term; it ensures we’re “remembered” for the right reasons.
Thanks to the get-together being jam-packed with knowledgeable speakers and plenty of opportunities to put newly taught skills into practice, the day sped past. The event ended fittingly with an ‘on brand’ yellow birthday cake, perfectly rounding off the day before the annual BOSS Awards kicked off only a few hours later (read Winners of the 2023 BOSS Awards revealed on page 50 to find out who won).