Lessons from Shakespeare’s Henry V online programme

Ben Walden: Lessons From Henry V

The foundation of our programmes are designed using some of the key Shakespeare plays as stories to look at major themes in organisational life. Across our 20 years of working in this way, people have really resonated with the stories and found them inspiring and memorable.

We are launching our classic Henry V programme online this December, a completely interactive, transformational and energetic session. To find out more, I met with Ben, our Founding Partner and Director of Classic, to find out how the Story of Henry V is weaved into the learning, what the key themes are and the impact the programme will have on attendees. 

What are the organisational themes of Henry V?

This programme is very timely for the current world events that we are navigating through. We look at maintaining our own sense of purpose and helping others with theirs during difficult times. 

We look at a compelling vision that unites people in a common goal, as well as understanding the many different archetypal qualities that play within an organisation and how that affects how we motivate them.

There is a real focus on motivational skills, particularly when people are struggling with a difficult target and we cover crisis management – how to manage fear, uncertainty and doubt which is really key following some of the big changes to organisations following COVID-19. 

Inspiration is really important in this programme. We want to teach participants how to inspire and help others to inspire their teams when things are difficult which we refer to as the ‘dark night’. 

As we move to offering this online input, we are providing learning that is not only deeply relevant but also engaging and inspiring for the group.  We want them to finish the programme with a wide understanding of how they can look at themselves and understand others to motivate and bring out the best in their team.

How is the programme structured?

We look at archetypal qualities right across the organisational world and how we embody them. When we fail to embody them it can really have a negative impact on our ability to be a motivator of other people. 

We then tell the story of Henry V, always linking back to where it affects our major themes and then we look at all the key organisational themes.

What makes this programme really stand out is it is emotionally engaging as well as relevant and informative. We have designed the content and delivery to be inspirational and leave the participants with something they can take to their workplace and transform their leadership style, enabling them to inspire others. 

How can this programme support an organisation’s long term strategy?

With this new online approach to our learning, it gives us many more opportunities to do follow up work with our participants. 

For example, If someone finds when they have completed the programme, they had real interest in a certain theme and would like to bring more focus and detail on it.  We can work with them to create, develop and give further learning and coaching to the individual themself or their wider team. 

Our approach is all about using a compelling story to look at major themes we struggle with in these times and how we engage and inspire others. 

Why is it helpful to have an understanding of different leadership styles?

We need a broad range of influencing styles to have a big impact as a leader. It is really helpful to know where your strengths and weaknesses lie and look at how you can improve your areas of communication and motivation with other people.

Where there are areas of weakness, you can improve your skills and we have the tools to help you do it. 

Rather than theory based learning, we get you to look at how you embody it so it is authentic, real and lasting rather than just a concept.

How important is it for a leader to have a strong sense of purpose?

If a leader’s sense of purpose is significantly eroded, it is really difficult for them to carry out their job successfully.

Sense of purpose is vital in keeping a team going, especially in tough times. This  relates to the story of Henry V where we use the metaphor of the ‘dark night’. If he doesn’t stay inspired and engaged during the chaos, what chance does he have of keeping them inspired and engaged?

Our proposition is anything that is really worth achieving in life and is a significant goal, is going to come with challenges. The vital thing for a leader is, they are true to their goal and strong in a crisis. We need strong leadership when things are difficult, and the Henry V programme will teach strategies and techniques to ensure just that. 

If you are interested in joining us for our new online programme, Leadership lessons  in challenging times from Henry V you can read more and book on to join us on Thursday 3 December from 13.00 here.   

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