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Aviva’s Jude Nicol blogs on being part of the ABI Future Leaders programme, and why she would recommend others grasp the opportunity...

Jude Nicol, Head of Customer Services, Savings and Retirement at Aviva, blogs on why she joined the ABI Future Leaders programme, what she learned from it and why she would recommend it to those who want to make a difference…

What’s the point, nice tick box to have on your CV?

Think again ……..

Why did I grasp the opportunity to join the ABI Future Leaders programme?

I have been in the industry for more years than I wish to mention! Why now, why this programme?  The world is changing around us all the time now politically, regulatory, start ups, new companies coming into the market, new challenges such as driverless vehicles etc. I could have stayed in my lovely bubble and just read the various threads on Linked In, press, internet but that isn’t going to cut it. The programme gave me a platform to speak to people from a diverse set of organisations, interests and knowledge as well as hear from industry experts.

I also had some personal areas I wanted to develop. I was very inwardly focused. I don’t feel I always thought wider than my organisation. I sometimes lack confidence which I always try to hide and I feel nervous with people I don’t really know so this programme would push me out of my comfort zone. I don’t particularly love standing up doing presentations to large groups. I also love to learn and constantly improve so what better way than build a fantastic network of industry experts with diverse thinking.

What made this programme different?

It isn’t just sitting there listening. Every single session needs you to fully immerse yourself, ask questions, debate, think of ideas and scenarios and present back to industry experts. This for me was the value add.

So what skills did I develop?

Inner confidence was one key area that has developed. I have value to add in discussions with people outside my bubble, with people who are industry experts! I now have a network of fantastic leaders in our industry. I stood up on the final day and actually enjoyed presenting! How did that happen ;-) ……

The programme meant I fulfilled all my goals and more.

What did I learn?

  • I learnt about leadership, what works, where people have made mistakes and learnt from them
  • I have more knowledge of the political environment and how that links with our industry
  • I have learnt about future technology and how that is and will continue to change our world
  • I have a deeper understanding of the regulatory environment

Has the program improved my leadership, and what happens now?

I am much more confident. I have more knowledge of what’s going on in the big wide world and insight that I have shared with my colleagues. If you are passionate about making a difference, learning, personal growth, sharing and want to be a fantastic leader well its time to sign up and invest in you!

Interested in joining our 2019 Future Leaders programme? Find out more and apply here

Last updated 11/01/2018